Duke-UNC showdown is ‘one of the biggest games in the history of NC,' sportswriter says
The Carolinas are making big March Madness waves.
On the men’s side, Duke and UNC will face off in the Final Four. It’s the first time the archrivals have played each other in the NCAA tournament. And the big game is coming amid big changes for the two powerhouse programs: Mike Krzyzewski’s last season as Duke’s Coach and Hubert Davis’ first as North Carolina's.
First coach to reach a Final Four in FIVE different decades 🤯✂️🐐 pic.twitter.com/usU94f81tL— Duke Men’s Basketball (@DukeMBB) March 27, 2022
“There's nothing UNC would really like to do other than to knock Coach K out for his last game of his career and do it on the biggest stage this rivalry's ever been on, in the Final Four,” The Charlotte Observer’s Langston Wertz Jr. told WFAE’s Gwendolyn Glenn on this week’s Time Out for Sports. “This is one of the biggest games in the history of North Carolina sports.”
Had some extra cargo on the trip back 😁#CarolinaFamily | #MarchMadness pic.twitter.com/qZ454g8wlD— Carolina Basketball (@UNC_Basketball) March 28, 2022
But it’s not just the men’s teams from the Carolinas making the news.
On the women’s side, No. 1 South Carolina is headed to the Final Four. And on Monday night, N.C. State was slated to face off against the mighty UConn in a bid to take the Wolfpack to the Final Four for the first time in 24 years.
That was after the Wolfpack narrowly beat Notre Dame 66-63 to advance.
“NC State got past Notre Dame because Kai Crutchfield shut down Notre Dame star Olivia Miles, held her to 6 points in the second half while she got 14 in 4 on her own,” Wertz said. “But also the smallest player on the court, little Raina Perez, got a big steal with 11 seconds left and then after Notre Dame missed a 3-pointer that could have tied the game, she made two big free throws."
#WFinalFour vibes only... pic.twitter.com/Ty2sAd2Ar6— GamecockWBB (@GamecockWBB) March 28, 2022
Closer to home, Charlotte FC won its second straight game — at Bank of America Stadium, no less. Karol Świderski scored both of Charlotte’s goals in the game against Cincinnati. But drama surrounded Świderski after the game. Poland, Świderski’s native country, had canceled the striker’s call-up to the national team after Charlotte FC said he was injured. But Świderski wound up returning to the field earlier than expected.
“The Charlotte team sent a note out to the Polish national team saying he was going to be out one to two weeks,” Wertz said. “The Polish national team is trying to qualify for the World Cup and they have to win a match on Tuesday to do so, and they could have used Świderski because he's the leading scorer in the MLS. But they were told he was out one to two weeks and he came back and played less than a week after that, so they kind of feel like there was a little tomfoolery going on there."
The rocket from all angles 🚀 pic.twitter.com/Si2b89XrEw— Charlotte FC (@CharlotteFC) March 28, 2022
You can listen to the full Time Out for Sports conversation above. Here’s a quick look at what else Glenn and Wertz covered this week.
- The Charlotte Hornets beat the Nets 119-110 on Sunday in New York, spoiling Kyrie Irving’s homecoming. They were set to face Denver on Monday night.
- The Carolina Panthers and Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools launched a girls’ flag football league.
- The University of South Carolina fired men’s basketball coach Frank Martin after 10 seasons and hired Lamont Paris to take over.
- A documentary produced by Steph Curry on Lusia Harris, the only woman to be drafted by the NBA, won an Oscar on Sunday.
- The Panthers are still looking at quarterback options.