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NCAA March Madness: Final Four set with Duke poised to square off against rivals North Carolina

Duke and UNC are finally set to face each other in the Final Four.

Via @LegionHoops/Yahoo Sports

It’s been quite an exciting period for college basketball, with March Madness in full swing and the games winding down to the NCAA Championship. The Final Four was set up on Sunday following wins by Villanova, Duke, Kansas, and North Carolina.

You could find a quick recap of the games that got us to this point right below and also do well to check out this sweet March Madness deal that comes with guaranteed prizes, including sports bottles, Wilson basketballs, Bose Bluetooth sports headphones, and iPhone Manager for one year.

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That said, let’s take a look at how the 2022 Final Four got set up.

Villanova

The Wildcats beat Houston 50-44 to earn a trip to the Final Four. Their defense held the Cougars to just 29.8 percent shooting from the field while the latter also shot a disappointing 1-for-20 from long distance.

Senior forward Jermaine Samuels led the Wildcats in scoring with 16 points, adding 10 rebounds. Houston’s Taz Moore, a senior guard, scored 15 along with 10 rebounds in the loss. 

Villanova is now set to face Kansas but will be without guard Justin Moore, who suffered a heartbreaking during the final minute of the game. Head coach Jay Wright told reporters an x-ray showed no broken bones in the immediate aftermath, but the player has since undergone an MRI that revealed a torn right Achilles tendon.

Duke

Duke’s Coach K is on his way to a 13th Final Four, now a record, as he passed former UCLA coach John Wooden’s 12 with a 78-69 win over Arkansas on Saturday. Forward AJ Griffin led all scorers for the Blue Devils, putting up 16 points as three other Duke players posted double-digits.

The Blue Devils shot 50.0 percent from three while holding the Razorbacks to 33.3 percent.

Kansas

The Kansas Jayhawks booked their place in the Final Four with a 76-50 victory over the Miami Hurricanes in Chicago on Sunday. They’ve progressed this far for the 16th time, with current head coach Bill Self getting them there on four occasions.

The Hurricanes led 45-29 after the first half but Kansas opened the second with a 10-0 run that saw them take a lead they would not surrender as they outscored Miami 47-15 in the last 20 minutes.

Ochai Agbaji paced Kansas with 18 points; David McCormack and Christian Braun chipped in with 15 and 12 points respectively while Mitch Lightfoot and Remy Martin both scored nine off the bench.

Kameron McGusty led the way in Miami’s losing effort, scoring 18. Isaiah Wong scored 15.

Kansas shot 50 percent from the field and went 13-for-26 from the free-throw line, though only scoring five of 14 attempts from three. They outrebounded their opponents 42-28 and held them to 34.5 percent shooting from the field and 3-of-21 from three. 

North Carolina

North Carolina brought an end to Saint Peter’s Cinderella story on Sunday with a convincing 69-49 win that sets up a showdown with bitter rivals Duke. This will be the first time these two teams will be going up against each other in the Final Four and it promises to be a good show. 

The Tar Heels’ defense was the difference-maker as they held the Peacocks to 30.0 percent shooting from the field and 4-for-16 from three. Junior forward Armando Bacot scored 20 points and hauled a whopping 22 rebounds on the night. 

Head coach Hubert Davis was overcome with emotion after the win.

“I’m just so happy for them,”  he said through tears. “I really wanted this for them. I just desperately wanted this for them. I love these guys so much.”

College basketball fans can look forward to two exciting Final Four matches. Both games will be played next Saturday at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans.

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