North Carolina players reveal most ‘satisfying’ victory over Duke in Coach K’s final season – saimmalik

CHAPEL HILL — As 1000’s of followers and college students waited outdoors the Dean E. Smith Middle Saturday afternoon, there was a way that this rivalry — Duke vs. North Carolina — was just a bit extra vital than others in faculty basketball. 

The rivalry will play out for the 261st time Saturday as Duke and Carolina sq. off as top-10 opponents for the forty ninth time. 

Armando Bacot (5), RJ Davis (4) and Harrison Ingram (55) of the North Carolina Tar Heels throughout a sport in opposition to the Charleston Southern Buccaneers at Dean E. Smith Middle Dec. 29, 2023, in Chapel Hill, N.C. (Ryan Hunt/Getty Pictures)

For 2 of North Carolina’s seniors — Armando Bacot and RJ Davis — the rivalry is a well-recognized one. 


Each gamers have been a part of the 2021-22 North Carolina crew that handed legendary Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski a loss in his remaining sport earlier than retirement. Duke’s loss within the Ultimate 4 in New Orleans got here one month after the Tar Heels defeated Duke at Cameron Indoor Stadium in Krzyzewski’s remaining residence sport. 

Bacot and Davis joined ESPN’s “Faculty Gameday” Saturday and revealed which of the 2 victories they cherish most. 

“To me, it needs to be Coach Ok’s final sport at Duke,” Davis stated when requested which of the 2 victories was most satisfying. “We went into that sport with nobody pondering we’d have the ability to win it. However we got here out on high, and we have been tremendous assured going into that sport.”

RJ Davis shoots a free throw

North Carolina guard RJ Davis (4) shoots a free throw throughout a sport in opposition to the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets Jan. 30, 2024, at Hank McCamish Pavilion in Atlanta.   (Wealthy von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire by way of Getty Pictures)

Bacot, who referred to as the matchup the “biggest rivalry in all of sports activities,” agreed with Davis forward of his remaining residence sport in opposition to the Blue Devils.


“For me, undoubtedly the one at Duke,” Bacot stated. “Seeing guys like Jay Williams, JJ Reddick, all these guys come again, and so they’re carrying their ‘Ok’ shirt. And simply to see the look on their face after the sport … top-of-the-line emotions. They thought they’d have a superb night time out in Durham that day. So, we bought it carried out.”

The renewal of the rivalry may have main implications within the ACC race as North Carolina appears to keep away from a second straight loss and Duke makes an attempt to get even with the Tar Heels within the loss column. 

“I believe that is my final time enjoying Duke right here,” Bacot stated. “So, bought to verify we get that W.”

Armando Bacot plays against Charleston Southern

Armando Bacot of the North Carolina Tar Heels throughout a sport in opposition to the Charleston Southern Buccaneers at Dean E. Smith Middle Dec. 29, 2023, in Chapel Hill, N.C.  (Ryan Hunt/Getty Pictures)

To snap a two-game residence dropping streak to Duke, the Tar Heels might want to include Blue Devils sophomore Kyle Filipowski, who’s seventh within the ACC with 17.5 factors per sport. 


“Simply his capability on the offensive finish as a 5 is simply very troublesome as a result of he can deal with the basketball,” North Carolina head coach Hubert Davis stated of Filipowski Thursday. “He’s nearly … he’s a degree guard. His capability to have the ability to move, he can get a rebound [and] advance the ball up the ground and make performs. Anyone with that sort of dimension, he’s aggressive. He can draw fouls. He can shoot from three. He can submit up. He can put the ball on the ground. 

“So, it’s laborious to get the ball out of his arms. [It’s] laborious to double him. As a result of he can catch the ball and assault in so many various areas.”

Duke and North Carolina tip off at 6:30 p.m. ET Saturday.

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