There are some great rivalries in sports – Ohio State vs Michigan, Red Rox vs Yankees, Lakers vs Celtics, Auburn vs Alabama, South Carolina vs Clemson and Kentucky vs Louisville are a few that come to mind. But no other rivalry is better than Duke vs UNC and here are five reasons why.
Only a short 10 mile trip down US Highway 15-501, aka Tobacco Road, separate Duke University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. No other rivalry boasts that proximity.
Carolina and Duke are playing for the 12th consecutive game in which both teams are ranked in the AP top 25. This is the 149th consecutive Carolina-Duke game in which at least one of the teams in ranked in the AP poll. This is the 83rd time in which both schools are ranked in the AP poll. This is the 46th time the Blue Devils and Tar Heels will face each other with both teams ranked in the top 10. There’s no other rivalry in sports that has featured two teams that have been as consistently good as Duke and UNC.
There aren’t many blowouts in the Duke/UNC rivalry. As a matter of fact, over their last 10 meetings the average margin of victory is 5.8 points. In their last 20 meetings only 7 games were separated by 10 or more points and only one was was won by 20 or more points. Over the last 10 years Duke has won 14 games in the rivalry and UNC has won 9. To compare this to one of sport’s other storied rivalries – Ohio State vs Michigan – over the last 10 years the Buckeyes have gone 10-1 against the Wolverines and won by an average of 13 points. No other rivalry has been as fiercely competitive as Duke/Carolina.
You don’t have to look any further than Hall of Fame coaches Roy Williams and Mike Krzyzewski to see the appeal of this matchup, but if you’d like to…since the NBA Lottery was implemented in 1985, there have only been 10 drafts where a future lottery pick wasn’t featured in this matchup and that doesn’t even count the basketball heavy hitters that came before then.
Cameron Indoor Stadium and The Dean Smith Center are two of the toughest places to play in college sports, not just because of the incredible talent they put on the floor year after year, but also because of their passionate supporters. And you won’t see fans of either school more hype than when they play each other. This tweet gives an accurate depiction of mood around North Carolina during Rivalry Week:
— iLiveOnTV (@iliveonTV) February 19, 2019
The 248th meeting of Duke vs UNC will tip-off Wednesday night at 9pm on ESPN.