- After Duke’s win last night, Paolo Banchero was asked who he’d like to play in the next round
- He ended up calling out the wrong team
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Last night, Duke secured their spot in the ACC Tournament Championship with an 80-76 win over Miami in a game that was closely contested from start to finish. As the team was celebrating, star player Paolo Banchero was pulled aside for an interview and that’s when things really got interesting.
He was asked who he’d prefer to face and instead of giving the standard “we’ll be ready for whoever”, he said that he wants North Carolina next.
Paolo Banchero asked who he wants to play UNC or VT
Says "UNC" pic.twitter.com/morEfn1oFp
— Alex 👋 (@dbs408) March 12, 2022
It’s obvious why he’d want to play the Tar Heels next. Duke would have loved to get some revenge for UNC ruining Coach K’s last home game. Duke-North Carolina also happens to be one of the biggest rivalries in all of sports. It’s also a much better win for their resume.
UNC just cracked the top 25 this week after their most recent win over Duke and would have been their first ranked opponent in months. Virginia Tech wasn’t even on the NCAA tournament radar until they beat UNC.
However, it’s a bold move actually naming the team you’d want to play next when you have absolutely no idea who is going to win the game after you. It looks even more bold when that team fails to win their semifinal matchup.
It’s not likely that Virginia Tech needed anymore motivation. They are playing for their season tonight with an automatic bid probably being their only path to the NCAA tournament. They are also the underdog here looking to knock off the top team in the conference, but if they needed more motivation, then being overlooked like this will probably give it to them.
Duke better be ready for today’s matchup with Virginia Tech because this will be a moment that comes back to haunt them if they fall short in Coach K’s last ACC Tournament Final.