It doesn’t compare with the blue-blood rivalry from Tobacco Road, but the Duke basketball program’s all-time series with Kentucky has offered up some doozies; the following slideshow is a list of the five best.
When the No. 4-ranked Duke basketball team tips off its season against No. 2 Kentucky in the Champions Classic on Nov. 6 at 9:30 p.m. EST on ESPN, it certainly won’t be the first time that the two fan bases have experienced recurring goosebumps in the days leading up to the game.
And no matter how the upcoming contest plays out, it has zero chance of going down in history as the greatest ever played between the two powerhouse programs.
No, that top spot will most likely forever be reserved for the obvious one that appears on the final slide of this list — the one that also happens to be widely considered as the greatest college basketball game ever played.
However, this next meeting between the Blue Devils and Wildcats has the potential to make its way on similar future lists.
In order to do so, though, it will probably require either at least one overtime, a game-winning shot at the last second, or some other significant piece of drama.
And that’s because the all-time series between Duke and Kentucky is loaded with amazing finishes — often when the stakes were high. Of the 21 meetings, dating back to 1930, the Wildcats have won 12, but the Blue Devils have won seven of the past nine. In each of the past 13, at least one of the two squads has been ranked in the top 10; both have been in the top 10 for the past six.
One of the games was played with a national championship on the line. One was in the national semifinal. Two took place in the regional final. Another took place in the regional semifinal.
Three have gone into overtime (all Duke wins). Eleven have been decided by five points or less.
In other words, it’s tough to come up with just five for this list. But keep clicking “NEXT” to see the five best according to Ball Durham: