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Duke vs. North Carolina in the Final Four: 3 reasons it's a huge deal

It's arguably the biggest rivalry in sports, and it's happening on college basketball's biggest stage.

NEW ORLEANS — The Green Bay Packers and the Chicago Bears. The Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees. 

North Carolina versus Duke. 

It's arguably the greatest sports rivalry of all time.

Now, this storied and heated battle between blue bloods takes center stage in the Final Four of the 2022 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament. It's never happened before, and really, would you want it any other way? 

Duke and Carolina play Saturday, April 2 at 8:49 p.m. ET on TBS. 

Here's why this game is so historic - in more ways than one. 

1. It's Coach K's final season, and this is his biggest game against UNC yet. 

It looks like Duke Men's Basketball Head Coach Mike Krzyzewski will get a chance at redemption against arch-rival North Carolina in the Final Four. You'll remember, the Tar Heels upset the Blue Devils in the last game of the regular season. It was a packed house full of fans, former players, and even celebrities all there to see Coach K's last ride at Cameron Indoor. After the game, Coach K addressed the crowd. 

"I'm sorry about this afternoon. Today was unacceptable. But the season has been very acceptable. And I'll tell you, the season isn't over," Krzyzewski said to a roaring crowd of Cameron Crazies. 

It's not just any team that has the potential to end Coach K's 42-year career once and for all. It's North Carolina. 

RELATED: On the road with Duke to the Final Four

2. It's Hubert Davis' first season as North Carolina's head coach. 

UNC Men's Basketball Head Coach Hubert Davis couldn't hold back tears after Sunday's win over No. 15 St. Peter's to advance to the Final Four. 

"I just desperately wanted this for them. I love these guys so much," an emotional Davis said. "They trusted me in my first year; they allowed me to coach them and allowed me to be in their life. I'm here because of them. It has nothing to do with coaching, it's all them and I'm just - it's tears of joy being able to be in their lives." 

Davis played for the Tar Heels from 1988 to 1992. He was an assistant head coach under former head coach Roy Williams, who was in the stands when the Heels beat the Peacocks. 

Davis is the fourth UNC head coach to lead his team to an NCAA Tournament berth in his first season at the helm, joining Bill Guthridge in 1998, Matt Doherty in 2001, and Roy Williams in 2004.

RELATED: North Carolina fans in Chapel Hill celebrate as Tar Heels advance to Final Four

3. Duke and UNC have played each other 257 times, but never once in the NCAA Tournament - until now. 

It would happen that way, right? Coach K's final season. Hubert Davis' first. But even though it's a season of endings and beginnings, this rivalry lives on forever. Now, it's on full display at the Final Four. 

When it comes to Duke vs. UNC - it's a battle for which blue blood owns the state of North Carolina.

So, let's look at the numbers. 

UNC owns the overall series against Duke, 142-115. However, Krzyzewski is 50-47 all-time against UNC. 

UNC has six national titles (1957, 1982, 1993, 2005, 2009, 2017) compared to Duke's five (1991, 1992, 2001, 2010, 2015). 

Including this one, UNC has been to 21 Final Fours. This is Duke's 17th trip to the Final Four.

The only question that remains is, which Blue are you rooting for?

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