How To Buy Duke Final Four Tickets | New Orleans hotels, Airbnbs and more for NCAA Tournament semifinals and championship
The Duke Blue Devils are heading to New Orleans!
They are the second team to advance to the Final Four of the 2022 NCAA Tournament, which begins Saturday, April 2. Saturday’s winners will play for the national championship on Monday, April 4, 2002 at Caesars Superdome.
Duke joins Villanova in the Final Four field. On Sunday, the bottom two teams will advance as Miami takes on Kansas and Saint Peter’s takes on North Carolina.
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NCAA tournament loses a legend
Joe Williams, who coached Artis Gilmore and small college Jacksonville to the 1970 NCAA Tournament Championship Game against powerhouse UCLA, died Saturday. He was 88 years old.
Williams, who also coached at Furman and Florida State, died in Enterprise, Mississippi, while in hospice care after a long battle with cancer, his son Joe Williams Jr.
The Dolphins were one of the true Cinderella teams in NCAA Tournament history. Led by the 7-foot-2, unranked Gilmore to start the season, they beat Western Kentucky, Iowa, Kentucky and St. Bonaventure en route to the championship game. They have scored 100+ points 18 times this season, including three times in the tournament.
In the final, they faced a Bruins program amid coach John Wooden’s dynasty. UCLA won 80-69 for its fourth consecutive national championship and sixth in seven years.
Williams was an assistant coach with Furman when he took over the program from Jacksonville in 1964, and the school played in the NAIA for one more season before moving to the NCAA, where it quickly rose to prominence.
Gilmore had played his first two seasons in junior college before signing with Williams and Jacksonville.
Williams was willing to recruit black players from Southern colleges when many coaches still refused to do so and protected them in hostile environments on the road, his son said.
“He was one of the first coaches in the South to do this. When dad was traveling with the team, if there was a restaurant that didn’t allow the whole team to eat together, dad would pack the whole team up and they would go to a restaurant where they could,” Joe Williams Jr said. .
“Dad was never one to get on a soapbox and talk about stuff like that, it was more that he always did the right thing. … He’s been through a lot. He received death threats in the mail. But he just realized that all his players were equal and wanted to treat them the same. It was about teaching his players how to be a good human being.
The son and brother of Methodist ministers, Williams became a coach by accident, his son said. He was a middle school English teacher in Jacksonville when someone realized that the big guy in the halls had played basketball in college and asked him if he wanted to help the coach.
“He realized that was his passion and that’s what he wanted to do,” said Joe Williams Jr.
Williams left Jacksonville after the title match appearance to return to Furman, where he coached until 1978 before heading to Florida State. He finished with a 336-231 record in 22 seasons and was inducted into the Jacksonville University Hall of Fame in 1994.
Future Final Four locations:
2023, Houston NRG Stadium, April 1-3
2024, PhoenixState Farm Stadium, April 6-8
2025, San Antonio Alamodome, April 5-7
2026, Indianapolis Lucas Oil Stadium, April 4-6
The AP contributed to this report.