Has Duke ever played UNC in March Madness?

UNC Tar Heels vs. Duke Blue Devils. (Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports
UNC Tar Heels vs. Duke Blue Devils. (Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports /

Duke and UNC are just one game away from having their rivalry add another chapter in the Final Four, but have they ever met before in March Madness?

With a win over Arkansas on Saturday night, the Duke Blue Devils extended their March Madness stay and Coach K’s career for another round as they move on to the vaunted Final Four. And with that, there is also the potential for another matchup with UNC, their biggest rivals.

If the Tar Heels can beat cinderella Saint Peter’s on Sunday night, it will set up a Final Four game for the ages in New Orleans with the two Tobacco Road rivals adding an unforgettable chapter to the rivalry.

Given the success of North Carolina and Duke over the years, they are no strangers to March Madness and the Final Four. But there’s a reason that you haven’t heard anything about their previous NCAA Tournament matchups.

Have Duke and UNC every played in March Madness?

Duke and UNC playing in the Final Four of the 2022 NCAA Tournament would be the first meeting between the Blue Devils and Tar Heels in March Madness ever. Despite all the wins, all the titles and all of the success, they have never met in the big dance before.

The only time that the two rivals even really came close to meeting in the NCAA Tournament was back in 1991 when both programs made it to the Final Four, but on opposite sides of the bracket. Duke advanced to the National Championship Game but UNC was upset (ironically, losing to Roy Williams and Kansas).

But 2022 could offer another bit of March Madness history by giving us this matchup. Either way, though, we’re either seeing an all-timer edition of the Tobacco Road Rivalry or a legend in Coach K taking on an all-time cinderella in Saint Peter’s. Put simply, college hoops fans can’t lose in this scenario.

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