“Has Mike Krzyzewski’s career been on the line in any previous Final Four?” - Brian Hamilton believes the storylines make this Final 4 the best we’ve seen for a while

Mike Krzyzewski's last Final Four is one of many storylines in 2022 Final Four.
Mike Krzyzewski's last Final Four is one of many storylines in 2022 Final Four.
Johnnie Martinez

March Madness is always full of unique storylines. But the addition of Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski's possible fairytale ending has Brian Hamilton believing this Final Four is the best one in recent history.

The Duke Blue Devils, North Carolina Tar Heels, Kansas Jayhawks and Villanova Wildcats are in New Orleans, Louisiana, for the opportunity to be national champions. All four teams are entering the Final Four with storylines and reasons their fans are rooting for them to win.

Coach K's potential fairytale ending is the theme for Duke. For North Carolina, the Tar Heels will be trying to win a championship for first-year coach Hubert Davis.

The Jayhawks are coming off their best half and trying to win a second championship under Bill Self. The underdog Wildcats are trying to win after a severe injury to their starting shooting guard.

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All the storylines in play will increase the expectations for the Final Four. Meanwhile, the event boasts four blue bloods with a combined 61 Final Four appearances and 17 national titles. Krzyzewski, Self and Villanova's Jay Wright are all Hall of Famers.

First up Saturday will be Kansas (31-6) against Villanova (30-7). Self led KU to the 2008 national championship, while Wright coached Villanova to the national title in 2016 and 2018.

Duke (32-6) will then take on North Carolina (28-9) in a critical rubber match. Krzyzewski's retirement is on the line for the Blue Devils. Meanwhile, Hubert Davis, only the second person to play and coach in a Final Four, is trying to reach the title game in his first season as head coach.

Mike Krzyzewski's final Final Four ends in New Orleans

Coach K's career ends this weekend regardless of his team's success.
Coach K's career ends this weekend regardless of his team's success.

Mike Krzyzewski's career ends in New Orleans whether or not he wins another national championship. His teams have won five crowns and been the runners-up six times. He's in a record 13th Final Four. Still, the storyline for Duke will be different depending on the level of success they have.

UNC and/or the Kansas-Villanova winner will all aim to send him into retirement.

For one of the greatest coaches of all time, ending with a national championship would be a ride-into-the-sunset moment. But the other three teams will seek their own fairytale ending. There will only be one champion.

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Q. Is this the best Final Four ever?



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Edited by Joseph Schiefelbein


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