Duke vs. UNC Final Four Odds: Coach K’s Experience Has Been Historically Profitable in the NCAA Tournament’s Late Stages

Duke vs. UNC Final Four Odds: Coach K’s Experience Has Been Historically Profitable in the NCAA Tournament’s Late Stages article feature image

Grant Halverson/Getty Images. Pictured: Wendell Moore Jr. (left) and Mike Krzyzewski (right).

Duke Blue Devils vs. North Carolina Tar Heels

Duke Odds-4.5 (-120)
North Carolina Odds+4.5 (+100)
Time8:49 p.m. ET
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NCAAB odds here.

Mike Krzyzewski's coaching experience will undoubtedly come in handy during these late stage games — intangibly and tangibly.

With the proper amount of experience, a field general will instill in his or her troops more rigor and more conviction. Emotions get tempered — and channeled, and that's especially true with teenaged players.

But tangibly, there's benefit too — for your wallet. Coaches with more experience than their adversaries have done historically well in the NCAA Tournament's late stages.

In March Madness history, the coach with more Final Four experience wins about 63% of games (74-44) in the Final Four.

Include the national championship in those calculations, and the coach with more Final Four experience improves to over 63.4% (116-67) straight up. These stats have been recorded since the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament began in 1939.

As for Coach K, he's facing off against Hubert Davis, who is in his first year as UNC's head coach. Coach K is 4-1 all-time in the Final Four against a head coach with no Final Four experience, including wins in four straight appearances.

Since 1978, 45 head coaches have entered their first Final Four game against a coach with Final Four experience. Those head coaches are 19-25 overall.

These principles don't apply as much to Kansas vs. Villanova, where the differences in coaching experience are rather minimal. Both coaches have been in their respective Final Fours.

And Bill Self started his coaching career with Oral Roberts in 1993. Jay Wright? Hofstra in 1994.

Both coaches have also led their respective teams for roughly the same amount of time. Wright started at Nova in 2001 while Self began with Kansas in 2003.

But for Duke vs. UNC? There's a massive disparity in experience. The historical record isn't too kind to Hubert Davis, but like any other hotshot general — Sun Tzu? Napoleon? — going against those with more experience, and winning, is how your name is made.

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Doug Ziefel
Jul 22, 2024 UTC