Nonetheless, it's been difficult watching Coach K's Duke Blue Devils win title after title with One-and-Done players while North Carolina has taken a different, more deliberate route to team building. Duke routinely gets Top 10 recruits, milks them for a year at most, then just restocks the next season with more McDonald's All Americans. North Carolina, of late, has been content bringing in Wendy's All Americans. Guys with limited NBA upside who are more likely to stick around for 3-4 seasons, resulting in a more cohesive, veteran laden squad. You could argue about whether or not this is the best approach.
Duke has won 5 titles, all since the early 1990's, and 3 in this century. UNC also has 5, but only 2 since Roy Williams' arrival in 2003. To the outsider, this probably doesn't seem like a big deal. But the outside probably knows little about how intense this rivalry is. An annual battle of literal blood, sweat, and tears, the rivalry has become less of one in recent years as Duke owns a significant edge over UNC in regular season and ACC tourney wins. As a Carolina fan, this bugs me to no end.
The Tarheels last won in 2009, and have had their chances since. They were a dreaded Kendall Marshall injury away a few years ago, and a Kris Jenkins prayer from taking it all last season. But this year, it seems different. I think this is our year. I don't bet, but if I did, this would be the team to bet on. I just think this is our time.
The rest of the Final Four is comprises of never beens (Gonzaga, South Carolina) and an undersized Oregon team that UNC should be able to dominate by virtue of going 4 deep up front.
We'll see who punches their tickets to the Championship game Saturday night.
Go Tarheels! The Ceiling Is The Roof!