Zion (knee) out for rematch with UNC

NCAA Basketball       Mike Krzyzewski expects Zion Williamson back for ACC Tournament
       
       	        By Vincent Frank

Without Williamson, Duke has looked little like the juggernaut that started the season, going 3-2 in the games since he sprained his knee when his shoe blew out in the opening minute of a loss to North Carolina.

The North Carolina Tar Heels and Duke Blue Devils are just one day away from their second meeting of the season; the latest chapter in the storied rivalry commonly considered the best in American sports.

Picked by many to cut down the nets at the US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, the Blue Devils boast a star-studded lineup that may have their top three players go in the top five, or even one, two and three, depending on how the ping pong balls fall in the upcoming NBA Draft Lottery.

The school announced Williamson's status on Saturday.

If the 6-foot-7 forward was available on Saturday, head coach Roy Williams and company would have to provide answers to that mismatch on both ends of the floor. Krzyzewski, however, said Friday that he would "be surprised if [Williamson] doesn't play in the ACC tournament".

Duke (26-4, 14-3 ACC) is 3-2 in the roughly five full games without Williamson.

Zion Williamson #1 of the Duke Blue Devils celebrates in the 71-69 win over the Louisville Cardinals at KFC YUM!

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Williamson returned to basketball activities on the practice court Tuesday for the first time since his injury.

"Not assume, we are [getting him back]", he said. I have to be careful not to push this, to give him a chance to get in game shape.

It might be safe to assume that Williamson will not play on Saturday night, but he is nearly definitely going to play in both the ACC and NCAA Tournaments.

"I don't think he'll be ready for Saturday", Krzyzewski said.

Krzyzewski admitted Williamson, projected as the possible No. 1 pick in the National Basketball Association draft in June, would have liked to have played one more game at Cameron.

In the end, none of Wake Forest's misses were bigger than Chaundee Brown's would-be game-winning putback that rolled off the rim as time expired. The Tar Heels are 9-3 ATS in their last 12 games following a ATS win, 9-4 ATS in their last 13 vs. You are going to play.' The kid is a victor.

"His knee is going to be OK", Krzyzewski said.

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