North Carolina edged rival Duke 81-77 in a Final Four game Saturday in New Orleans to advance to Monday’s men’s basketball national final, in which they’ll meet top-seeded Kansas.
Sophomore guard Caleb Love scored a game-high 27 points, including a dagger 3-pointer with 28 seconds remaining, in the Tar Heels’ win at the Caesars Superdome.
“This has been a group of perseverance, toughness and resiliency,” Tar Heels coach Hubert Davis told TBS in a postgame interview.
“This group is so together. I’m just so proud of them.”
The Blue Devils used their size early on to dominate inside, outscoring the Tar Heels 26-14 in the paint in the first half. They also outscored the Tar Heels 14-0 in first-half bench points for a 37-34 edge at halftime.
The Blue Devils scored the first four points of the second half, but the Tar Heels responded with an 13-0 run to take a 47-41 lead. The Blue Devils later answered with a 10-2 run to take back the lead midway through the second half.
The lead shifted hands several more times down the stretch, but Davis sank two free throws for a 75-74 Tar Heels lead with 1:01 remaining and his team never trailed again.