Erin Summers

Duke, UNC is the best rivalry in sports

Posted February 9, 2012

Wednesday night’s game in Chapel Hill proves why Duke vs. North Carolina is the best rivalry game in the country.

The crowd at the Dean Smith Center was on their feet for the majority of the game. There were home-fan nerves early as the Carolina team trailed a hot-shooting Duke squad. There was home-fan excitement late as UNC stormed back to a lead.

A 15-2 run by the Blue Devils in the last two minutes of the game brought the Smith Center to a craze as Austin Rivers nailed a three-pointer at the buzzer for the 85-84 win.

That’s the thing, Duke looked all but defeated. But in true Duke and Carolina fashion, anything goes when the two teams hit the hardwood. Things that shouldn’t happen, happen.

Everyone is walking away from that game shocked – half in dejection the other half in joy. But I love it; can you imagine how much the Heels are going to want revenge come Cameron?

I’m sure diehard fans would rather a blow-out by their respective team, but in arguing that this is the best rivalry game in the country, you want games like that. You want it to come down to the wire.

I had friends texting me from California, Texas, Pennsylvania and Georgia - none of which went to UNC or Duke and none that are from the state of North Carolina. They all watched the game and were in shock of what a game it was.

Great rivalries draw attention from the entire country regardless of their ties, or lack thereof, to either team.

As a North Carolinian, take some pride in the fact that you live in the hot bed of college basketball and games like that happen in your backyard every year, multiple times.


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  • StunGunn Feb 13, 2012

    I think the Duke/Carolina game is THE best rivalry in college sports, if not all sports. THe proximity of the schools, the HOF coaches, the talent level of both teams, the records - after 76 meetings there is a only 2 point differential, the teams are both ranked more often than not, bragging rights on the line, and often much more (seeding in the ACC and NCAA tourney).

  • VT1994Hokie Feb 11, 2012

    We all love it because it's here in North Carolina. Tim Brando stated that it was in the top five in all of Sports. Bama and Auburn in football is a hate thing all year.

  • hball57 Feb 10, 2012

    I read the column and see the explanation as to why this is the "best" rivalry. The reasons are - because it's played to a big crowd, the losing team wants revenge and friends from across the country commented on it. Then this is no different than the others previously mentioned. We are cursed by having many UNC centered media people proclaiming everything they like as being the "nest". Newsflash - there is no "best" rivalry, and there is no reason to continually look proclaim anything as being the "best". Enjoy for what it is - it can stand without the unnecessary hyperbole.

  • 4tarheels Feb 10, 2012

    She is right. I can't think of a single rivalry game I would rather watch

  • eoms Feb 10, 2012

    Best rivalry in sports? Or maybe did you mean NCAA college basketball? Otherwise, how about Barcelona - Real Madrid, Yankees - Red Sox, India - Pakistan (cricket), etc etc. There is a whole world out there.

  • BringthePain Feb 9, 2012

    View quoted thread


    Thanks for another worthless column.

  • toddrita Feb 9, 2012

    I would expect a UNC grad to proclaim this the greatest rivalry in sports. But come on. Let's not get carried away. UCLA-USC is pretty big. Michigan-Ohio State is pretty big. It's easy to get caught up in the hype when you are surrounded by it, but outside of N.C. and New Jersey, Duke-UNC is not must-see television.

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