I’ve been sneaking a peak at some North Carolina comments and message boards and a popular topic is the respected 2009-2010 schedules of the Duke Blue Devils and North Carolina Tar Heels.
A common theme I’ve found is, while Carolina has a brutal schedule this year, Duke’s schedule is filled with “cupcakes.” The implication is that the Tar Heels aren’t afraid to take on the big boys, while the Devils won’t. Here’s just one example:
K has 2 (that’s two) true away games this year…TWO!!!!…Against other mediocre teams. I guess the all time wins mark is the only thing on his mind. That and maybe the olympics….. It sure isn’t National Championships. He’s not doing his team any favorites by eating cupcakes!!!
First, let me say this. I do commend North Carolina for their schedule. It’s clearly the most impressive non-conference schedule this season. No doubt. Big Ballsy props go to the Tar Heels.
At home, they brought in Michigan State, Nevada and Kentucky. More importantly though, they go on the road to face Ohio State, Kentucky and Texas (in Dallas). They also will face either Cal or Syracuse in MSG. The rest of their non-conference games could be against division II teams and the schedule would still be impressive.
On the other hand, Duke does not have that kind of competition lined up, but cupcakes, really? They face no non-conference “big boys” at home, but do travel to face Wisconsin, Georgetown and Iowa State (which I believe will be played in Chicago). They also will probably face Connecticut in MSG, as well as a match up with Gonzaga in NYC. Not bad.
Clearly, in 2009-2010…Carolina has the SOS bragging rights. My problem is, the implication that this is somehow the norm; Carolina playing tough schedules, Duke playing cupcakes.
In reality, last year Duke had the nation’s No 1 ‘strength of schedule’, thanks to games against Purdue, Xavier, Davidson, Georgetown and two games against Michigan. UCLA should have been there, but they were upset by Michigan in the Coaches vs. Cancer tournament.
North Carolina on the other hand, they took on a (pre-Calipari, non-tournament) Kentucky team and Notre Dame (two teams that were suppose to be good, but tanked. Neither qualified for the tournament), while going on the road to face Michigan State (in Detroit) and Nevada.
It’s simple folks…some years they have it tough and others we do. Can we get this season started, already?