Duke Basketball: Being A Duke Fan, Living In Syracuse

DURHAM, NC - FEBRUARY 24: Oshae Brissett
DURHAM, NC - FEBRUARY 24: Oshae Brissett /

With Duke taking on Syracuse in the Sweet 16 tonight, it’s no surprise that I’ve gotten the biggest amount of smack talk yet this season from any fan base. Living in Syracuse, where people live and die through SU basketball, and being a die-hard Duke fan isn’t the best mix. This is what it’s like to do just that.

I’ve been a Duke fan since 2006.

Greg Paulus went to high school about 20 minutes from me and I didn’t really have a college team that I was passionate about. I figured a kid from our city going to play at the most prestigious basketball school in the nation AND starting for them as a freshman would be what I needed to pick a team. So I did just that. Ever since then, I’ve been a die-hard Duke fan.

Living in Syracuse brings a fun element to this.

First and foremost, this isn’t a rivalry. Don’t let any Syracuse fan try to tell you that it is. It’s a fun matchup with two very passionate fan bases and the games are always fun to watch. That’s what it is currently.

Syracuse fans love to talk about taking down mighty Duke.

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Here’s the thing: I don’t even get excited about those games. Other than the North Carolina games, I don’t get excited for games in January or February. It’s not worth it. My sights are set on April.

That’s something Syracuse fans don’t understand about us Duke fans. We don’t care about regular season games. The buzzer beater last season? I was over it .3 seconds after the shot went in. People here talked about it for weeks. It was mind-boggling.

There’s a lot of smack talk that goes on here, mainly from them. I don’t have to say anything besides check the banners. One championship in 2003? Good for you guys! They can’t compete with us when it comes to things that matter: banners.

Jim Boeheim is treated like a god here. He could run someone over with his car and the guy that got ran over would get in trouble. I get he’s a phenomenal head coach but, I honestly don’t understand why people are enamored with him. I mean, he’s no Coach K.

Tonight’s game should be fun. I’m slightly excited. Like I said, my sights are set on April. Beating Syracuse is just another stop on the way to San Antonio. I would feel the same way had we played Michigan State.

Either way, I’m sure I’ll still get smack talk during the game. And no matter what happens, Duke is still the superior program.