The game’s greatest rivalry has a little more to it when the matchup has an ACC crown on the line. When the Blue Devils come into the Dean Dome on March 7th to close out the regular season, this very well could be the case.
Both teams enter the season as top 10 teams. Duke comes in as No. 3 in the preseason USA Today Coaches Poll with North Carolina sliding in at No. 6. Expectations for both clubs are high as always in the preseason.
When people think of Carolina and Duke, they think success. They think of Coach K, Dean Smith, Michael Jordan, JJ Redick, Final Fours and championships. All of that being said, the past few years have been a struggle for each program by their standards.
The history of this rivalry writes itself. When you flip on a Carolina-Duke game you see historic highlights pre-game, during the game, and after the game. The players, the coaches, the titles, the prestige, it all stands out and is put on display when these two teams meet. These schools are located only ten miles apart, and they have battled 238 times. When you are that close, and have played that many times, how can you not hate each other?
One of the defining moments of this generation came in 2007 when Tyler Hansbrough went up for a shot in the lane, and gets a forearm shiver from Gerald Henderson. After about five seconds on the ground Hansbrough jumps up, ready to rumble and looking for trouble, his face a bloody disaster.
Does every rivalry need literal blood to be great? No, probably not.
Does it make one a lot more entertaining? Absolutely.
This rivalry has lacked its typical allure lately because the teams haven’t both been title contenders.
Neither team has reached a Final Four since the Blue Devils cut down the nets in 2010.
Fair or not, fans of these teams expect them to compete to get to the Final Four each and every year. Continue Reading