North Carolina coach Roy Williams was on his normal Wednesday walk when a passerby wished him good luck for Saturday’s UNC-Duke rematch -- even before his team played (and beat) Maryland.
“That part was frustrating,’’ Williams said after the sixth-ranked Tar Heels beat the Terps.
But all the build up, the waiting -- the passing comments -- have led to this. Saturday’s rematch at Cameron Indoor Stadium gives UNC not only the chance at revenge (after blowing a double-digit lead and losing on an Austin Rivers game-winning 3-pointer earlier this month), but the chance to win the regular-season ACC title.
It marks the second straight year that the two rivals will meet in the finale with the outright conference crown at stake. But perhaps strangely, it's only the seventh time overall that has happened.
A breakdown, as provided by UNC:
2012 -- North Carolina (13-2) vs. Duke (13-2)
2011 -- North Carolina beat Duke, 81-67, in Chapel Hill to win the league with a 14-2 record
2008 -- North Carolina beat Duke, 76-68, in Durham to win the league with a 14-2 record
1991 -- Duke beat North Carolina, 83-77, in Chapel Hill to win the league with an 11-3 record
1978 -- North Carolina beat Duke, 87-83, in Chapel Hill to win the league with a 9-3 record
1967 -- North Carolina beat Duke, 92-79, in Chapel Hill to win the league with a 12-2 record
1958 -- Duke beat North Carolina, 59-46, in Durham to win the league with an 11-3 record
It will mark the 234th time the teams have met. UNC leads the series 131-102; but Duke has won five of the past six.
Follow Robbi Pickeral on Twitter at @bylinerp.