Banchero ‘haunted’ by Final Four loss to UNC, will ‘never get over it’

By R.L. Bynum

When you lose your final college game that also ends the career of a legendary coach, it’s going to be hard to get over it.

Former Duke star Paolo Banchero made that clear in an interview with Complex ahead of Thursday’s NBA draft before the Orlando Magic picked him first overall.

There, of course, were two Duke losses to North Carolina late in the season, the one in Coach Mike Krzyzewski’s final home game 94–81 and the one in New Orleans at the Final Four 81–77. The reader has to assume that reporter Zion Olojede was talking about the latter when he asked Banchero if he was over “the” UNC loss.

“I don’t think I’ll ever fully get over it,” Banchero told Olojede in the interview. “The first month I told myself: ‘Just stop. Stop dwelling on it.’ To say ‘get over it’; I’ll never get over it.”

Olojede’s follow-up question was: Do you feel like that’s gonna haunt you forever?

“Oh yeah, I feel like we were the best team in the country,” Banchero said. “We were playing so good and the way we lost coming down the wire like that … it could’ve went either way. The fact it didn’t go our way is going to definitely haunt me a bit.”

Tar Heel fans would gladly fact-check Banchero on the claim that Duke, which lost two of three meetings with UNC, was the best team in the country.

That might haunt him, though.

Photo via @DukeMBB


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