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Coach K's run ends; North Carolina beats Duke for a spot in the national championship

NCAA Duke North Carolina Basketball
Gerald Herbert
North Carolina reacts to defeating Duke after the second half of a college basketball game in the semifinal round of the Men's Final Four NCAA tournament, Saturday, April 2, 2022, in New Orleans. North Carolina won 81-77.

Mike Krzyzewski's career as the head coach of the Duke Blue Devils' men's basketball team is over.

In the first-ever NCAA Tournament meeting between the two rivals, the North Carolina Tar Heels beat Duke at the Final Four in New Orleans on Saturday, 81-77.

North Carolina — a No. 8 seed entering this year's tournament — will play Kansas on Monday night for the national championship. Meanwhile, Krzyzewski will coast into retirement after 42 seasons of leading Duke.

Caleb Love led the way for Carolina with 28 points and four rebounds. Armando Bacot had 11 points and 21 rebounds for the Heels before fouling out with 47 seconds to play.

Duke was powered by 20 points and 10 rebounds from freshman forward Paolo Banchero. Trevor Keels added 19 points.

The Blue Devils led by a single point with 2:10 to play. Then, on Carolina's next possession, Leaky Black fed a pass to Brady Manek, who swished a three-pointer from the top of the key, giving the Heels a two-point advantage.

Wendell Moore responded with a three-pointer of his own for Duke, but Love scored six points in the final 28 seconds to seal the win for Carolina.

The Tar Heels shot 38.5% from three-point range, while Duke shot just 22.7%. UNC also won the rebounding battle by nine. Neither team led by more than seven points.

UNC handed Krzyzewski his final loss at home in Cameron Indoor Stadium at the beginning of March. Exactly four weeks later, the Tar Heels defeated Coach K for a final time on a much bigger stage. What was supposed to be a storybook ending for Krzyzewski ended without an ACC Tournament title or an NCAA championship. Jon Scheyer will take the reins of the Blue Devils next season.

Monday night's game between Carolina and Kansas tips off at 9:20 p.m. EST. A win for the Tar Heels would be their seventh national championship.

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