Mar 3, 2012; Durham, NC, USA; Duke Blue Devils fans also known as Cameron Crazies taunt North Carolina Tar Heels forward Harrison Barnes (40) as he takes the ball out against the Blue Devils during the first half at Cameron Indoor Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark Dolejs-USA TODAY Sports

Duke vs North Carolina: A Preview (Kind Of)


Mar 3, 2012; Durham, NC, USA; Duke Blue Devils fans also known as Cameron Crazies taunt North Carolina Tar Heels forward Harrison Barnes (40) as he takes the ball out against the Blue Devils during the first half at Cameron Indoor Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark Dolejs-USA TODAY Sports

While sitting in one of my three-hour classes this afternoon, I thought long and hard about how I would attack this preview. I mean, it is Duke and North Carolina; a ‘X players to watch for’ type article wouldn’t suffice. I could run through the stats to show how Duke owns an advantage, but we all know stats and records are meaningless in this game. See, in this game, it doesn’t matter how impressive of a resume you have or how much you’ve struggled in the past. It doesn’t matter if one team has been riddled with injuries or another team enters the game on a cold streak. No matter what the circumstance, both teams are going to be in for a hell of a fight. To put it simply:

This is Duke and North Carolina.

This is a rivalry that started back in 1920, with the Tar Heels knocking off the Blue Devils 36-25. This is the rivalry that has been played 234 times since, and will be hopefully be played a couple thousand more times. This is a showdown between two of the most historic programs in college basketball, with the teams boasting 9 NCAA Championships, 33 Final Fours, 36 ACC Tournament Championships, and 48 ACC regular season Championships.

This is Gerald Henderson breaking Tyler Hansbrough’s nose and Austin Rivers hitting a miracle three-pointer. This is Dante Calabria with the last second tip-in and Sean May with a 26-point, 24-rebound performance. This is Danny Green posterizing Greg Paulus and JJ Redick lighting up UNC in his fourth and final appearance in the Dean Dome. This is Jeff Capel nailing a buzzer beater to lift Duke past the Tar Heels back in 1995 and Jerry Stackhouse throwing down one of the best dunks in college basketball history.

This is Duke and North Carolina.

It is an endless amount of classics: a series with more drama than and nail-biting moments than any reality show has ever provided.

It is memories and broken hearts and tears of joy and tears of sadness and heroes and villains all rolled into one.

It is one of the most exciting and anticipated events in the entire world of sports, and rightfully so.

Duke is a better team in just about every way heading into this game, but it doesn’t matter. North Carolina is going to fight hard, harder than you’ve seen them fight all year.

By the end of my class, I decided there was only one way I could really provide a perfect, meaningful preview that encapsulated everything you need to know about this game, and I decided you could compress it all into little sentence.

This is Duke and North Carolina.

Tags: Duke Blue Devils North Carolina Tar Heels