North Carolina basketball coach Roy Williams told NCAA.com's Andy Katz that this season's Duke team is one of the best he's seen in the 16 years he's coached North Carolina.
“They may be the most gifted athletically of any team that I’ve ever coached against at Duke,” Williams said on Katz’s March Madness 365 podcast. “Zion Williamson is a different bird. There’s never been anybody like him. That size and that power and that explosiveness and that speed."
Williams also praised Duke's RJ Barrett, Cam Reddish and Tre Young.
“Going in there Wednesday night, we know that we’ve got to play great. Anything less than great, we won’t have a chance. And we understand that.”
You can hear the entire Roy Williams interview and Katz's interview with ESPN's Dick Vitale on the March Madness 365 podcast here:
Vitale recalled that he used to get goosebumps before every UNC-Duke game when he was in the building.
“I don’t think there’s any doubt whatsoever ... that is definitely one of the five best (rivalries in all of sports),” Vitale said. “You can’t even argue that. Certainly the Yankees-Red Sox is up there, but after that I’d put Duke and Carolina. They’re just right there. In college, it’s certainly number one.”
Vitale listed three of his favorite games in the matchup's history:
Feb. 5, 1992
No. 9 North Carolina 75, No. 1 Duke 73
Feb. 8, 2012
No. 9 Duke 85, No. 5 North Carolina 84
Feb. 2, 1995
No. 2 North Carolina 102, Duke 100 (2OT)
Vitale also addressed the Williamson phenomenon. He said fans everywhere he goes want to talk about Zion.
“He’s so unique,” Vitale said. “He’s not the best I’ve ever seen, I’ll tell you Andy, but he’s certainly the most unique I’ve ever seen.”