Duke basketball star Paolo Banchero finally gets his wish

Duke basketball forward Paolo Banchero (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Duke basketball forward Paolo Banchero (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) /

A wish for Duke basketball forward Paolo Banchero is finally coming true. 

Fans of Duke and North Carolina might not be happy that the two historic programs are meeting in the Final Four on Saturday night, but one Duke basketball star is getting his wish granted.

Following Duke’s victory over Miami in the ACC Tournament, Paolo Banchero was asked by ESPN’s Holly Rowe about who he would want to play, North Carolina or Virginia Tech.


It was a mic drop moment for the 6-foot-10, 250-pound Seattle, Washington native that sent shockwaves through social media.

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Paolo Banchero wanted another shot at North Carolina after its upset victory inside Cameron Indoor Stadium a week earlier in the final regular season home game for Mike Krzyzewski, and rightly so.


Unfortunately, the Tar Heels did not cooperate as Virginia Tech took down North Carolina in the ACC Tournament Semifinals and then toppled the Blue Devils in the championship.

However, Banchero and the Blue Devils get another crack at North Carolina on Saturday night under the bright lights of New Orleans in the first-ever meeting in the NCAA Tournament between the teams.

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North Carolina, the champions of the East Region, was run off its home floor by Duke in the first meeting of the rivalry this season and was a bubble team prior to the final weeks of the season.

Duke basketball star not commenting on who he wanted to play

It was an easy question to ask Paolo Banchero when Duke punched its ticket to the Final Four: “Which one do you want?”

The opponent for the Blue Devils was not set as North Carolina still had to play St. Peter’s in the Elite Eight in Philadelphia, but the star freshman was not going to provide another soundbite for the country to salivate over.

“You are not gonna get me this time,” Banchero said to CBS Sports sideline reporter Tracy Wolfson when she asked which team Duke wanted to play.


Nonetheless, Paolo Banchero finally does get his wish granted with another chance at the North Carolina Tar Heels on the biggest stage in the sport.

Tipoff between Duke and North Carolina is scheduled for approximately 8:49 p.m. EST on Saturday night from the Caesars Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana.

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