New York, New York: A Final Four For The Ages
By: John Jastremski
So I’ve known for the better part of months that for Final Four Weekend, I was going to be in Las Vegas for a buddy’s bachelor party.
Unbelievable timing, unbelievable weather, but would it end up being a picturesque Final Four?
Aside from years where my alma mater Syracuse was a part of the festivities, I can’t think of a year where I’ve been more stoked for Final 4 Weekend.
The host city New Orleans will be treated to a weekend of powerhouses.
The fact that the undercard features Villanova and Kansas with two Hall Of Fame coaches patrolling the sidelines in Bill Self and Jay Wright is mind boggling.
The main event is the nightcap. For the first time ever, Duke and North Carolina will face off in the NCAA Tournament.
That first win or go home just happens to be in the National Semi Final.
The best rivalry in College Basketball combined with the magnitude of the Final Four sets the scene for an incredible environment.
However, there’s another extra wrinkle in play.
The Coach K Farewell Tour
About a month ago, Coach K’s final home game was spoiled by North Carolina in a game that really changed the entire landscape of the Tar Heels season.
Duke and Coach K had to deal with the embarrassment of losing the Cameron Indoor Finale and was the butt of all jokes throughout social media.
Make no mistake, come Saturday. All of the pressure in the world is on Duke.
UNC has had a fantastic season. They were an 8 seed, they played their way into the Tournament and parlayed that into a Final 4.
They spoiled Coach K’s final home game, could you imagine if the Tar Heels sent him into retirement with a loss in the Final 4?
After Duke’s semi-final win in the ACC Tournament, freshman phenom Paolo Banchero was asked if he had a preference for his next opponent in the ACC Tournament Championship.
Banchero was defiant and said North Carolina without hesitation.
Well, Paolo is getting his wish except he’s getting his wish in a Final Four game.
The young Dukies have been the most impressive team in this tournament.
They have come of age and have executed brilliantly down the stretch in both the Round of 32 against Michigan State and in the Sweet 16 against Texas Tech.
It’s time for redemption or Retirement for Coach K.
That storyline alone doesn’t get any sweeter.
Is it Saturday night yet???
You can listen to my podcast New York, New York every Sunday & Thursday plus my picks on The Ringer Gambling Show every Tuesday & Friday on The Ringer Podcast Network on Spotify & Apple Podcasts. You can also see me weeknights at 11 PM on Geico Sportsnight on SNY.