Longtime local rivals Duke and North Carolina will, for the first time, meet in the NCAA Tournament, and in a Final Four matchup with a major storyline. The betting odds suggest that the Blue Devils will prevail in Saturday’s historic context, extending head coach Mike Krzyzewski’s legendary career for one more game.

Duke is favored by four points over UNC in Saturday's matchup at Caesar Superdome in New Orleans, according to the latest odds at DraftKings Sportsbook. The Blue Devils have -190 odds to win outright. The Tar Heels have +160 odds to pull off the upset.

In Krzyzewski’s final season, the legendary college basketball coach is just two wins away from claiming his sixth national championship. In order to cut down the nets at the Final Four, Duke will have to get by first-year head coach Hubert Davis' squad, which already spoiled one major moment during Krzyzewski’s retirement tour.

North Carolina upset Duke 94-81 on March 5 in Krzyzewski’s last game at Duke’s Cameron Indoor Stadium. The Blue Devils were 12.5-point favorites and expected to cruise to a victory, but the Tar Heels had other plans with four starters scoring at least 20 points.

The Blue Devils were such heavy favorites because of how easily they took care of the Tar Heels in their first matchup. Duke won at North Carolina on Feb. 5 in a dominant 87-67 effort. AJ Griffin led Duke with 27 points on 11-for-17 shooting.

Which team will win the rubber match?

It might be hard to draw too many conclusions from those first two games, considering how well the rivals have played during March Madness.

Seeded No. 8 in the East region, North Carolina had an up-and-down regular season. The Tar Heels have been a different team in the NCAA tournament, defeating two of last year’s Final Four teams and winning their other two contests by a combined 52 points.

North Carolina’s starting five has played as well as any unit in the tournament. In the frontcourt, Armando Bacot is averaging 16.5 points and 15.8 rebounds.per game, while Brady Manek is scoring 21.5 points on just 13 shots. The Tar Heels’ backcourt has been championship-caliber. Caleb Love and R.J. Davis have combined for 31.2 points and 8.8 assists per game, hitting several clutch shots to help the Tar Heels advance.

Despite those numbers, Duke remains the most talented team left in the Final Four. The roster is littered with potential first-round draft picks that are playing as well together as they have all season.

Center Mark Williams has at least 12 points and seven rebounds in every tournament game. Paolo Banchero is scoring 18.5 points on 51% shooting. Jeremy Roach has emerged as the steady point guard that Duke was looking for before March Madness. Roach might end up being the missing piece that puts the Blue Devils over the top.

Saturday’s contest shouldn’t resemble anything close to the first two Duke-UNC matchups of 2022. Both teams are playing so well offensively that the game is likely to be decided in the final few minutes.

The Tar Heels have put together an impressive run, but there’s a reason why Duke is a No. 2 seed and the better team all season long.

Prediction: Duke over North Carolina, 82-80

Duke North Carolina Basketball
Paolo Banchero #5 of the Duke Blue Devils drives against Armando Bacot #5 of the North Carolina Tar Heels during their game at the Dean E. Smith Center on February 05, 2022 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Grant Halverson/Getty Images