There have been plenty of times in the past when the Atlantic Coast Conference Men’s Regular Season Championship came down to the final game between the Duke Blue Devils and the UNC Tarheels.

Well, in 2024, it’s déjà vu all over again. On Saturday, March 9, at 6:30 p.m., the two will play for the regular season title and a Number 1 bid in the ACC Men’s Basketball Tournament.

If Carolina wins, they’re the outright winners. However, if Duke wins, things get complicated and the Number 1 slot in the ACC tournament will depend on what happens in other games throughout the conference.

This year the two are about as even as it gets.  They are both 24-6 in wins and losses and UNC has three conference losses while Duke has four.  In the Associated Press men’s basketball poll, UNC is ranked 7th and Duke comes in at 9th.

The game could help one of the two teams finish with a Number 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament if some other top national teams lose a game this weekend or in their conference tournaments.

There’s no love lost between the two teams – especially ever since UNC meanly ruined a storybook ending to former Duke Coach Mike Krzyzewski’s career in April of 2022 by beating Duke in the Final Four, before going on to lose in the finals.

Whoever wins Saturday night won’t be able to enjoy the victory for long.  Both teams will begin play again on the following Thursday after getting double byes in the ACC Tournament. If both continue to win, they’ll meet in the game for the ACC Tournament title exactly one week after this weekend’s regular season match up.