Duke basketball: Tar Heels deserve Durham billboard

Duke basketball (Photo by Lance King/Getty Images)
Duke basketball (Photo by Lance King/Getty Images) /

While Duke basketball antagonists try to prevent one potential feat by North Carolina fans, the Tar Heels’ current attempt at one-upmanship calls for an even less mature response.

Three consecutive losses to Duke basketball teams. A 9-17 clip since 2010 against the darker shade of blue eight miles down Tobacco Road. Dean Dome dreams flaming out in the final five minutes of games due to countless Blue Devil miracles from the likes of Austin Rivers, Tre Jones, and Wendell Moore.

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Wait, there’s more. A 14-19 record last season, a 6-14 conference mark, 15th place in the 15-team ACC, one of the NCAA’s few 2019-20 squads to see its campaign end on the court. A combined 37 losses the past three seasons. Double-digit losses in six of the past 11 seasons. Having to escape an academic scandal. A recent surge of outbound transfers. Leaders who hang bogus Dean Dome banners.

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Yes, in light of North Carolina’s growing list of what other fans might call unforgivable humiliations, mobs of Tar Heel loyalists continue to dominate social media. Therefore, these truly devoted folks most certainly deserve the prize that Fox College Hoops is awarding the winner of its “Best Fanbase in College Basketball” Twitter tournament.

The prize? An obnoxious billboard to announce the title in the town of the rival program (presumably across the street from Duke’s campus should UNC come out on top).

At the time of this article’s publishing, with under 24 hours to go in the bracket’s final poll, North Carolina leads the championship matchup with 51 percent of the roughly 75,000 votes.

Though various Twitter accounts supporting the opponent, Brigham Young, have reached out to Ball Durham and other Duke-centric accounts to spread the request for more Cougar votes, maybe that’s the wrong approach for Blue Devil fanatics to take.

First, let’s review the Duke basketball fanbase’s tourney result. Like its UNC counterpart, it was one of the four No. 1 seeds in the 64-deep field. However, to the delight of the masses of Dukie haters — conveniently paving the way for the 16-over-1 upset that ensued — the first-round foe was Lehigh, who as a No. 15 seed in 2012 famously knocked off the No. 2 seed Blue Devils.

OK, back to the light-blue billboard that is looking more and more like a future reality.

Sure, those who feel a duty to protect the streets around Duke from Tar Heel graffiti may honorably decide to go ahead and vote for BYU before it’s too late. That said, feel free to side with the gameplan laid out here:

  1. Accept the inevitable.
  2. Somehow — reference the examples above — manage to spin Durham’s nightmare advertisement into a symbol of UNC’s embarrassments.
  3. Honor the sign as a sign of Duke basketball’s recent reign in the rivalry by placing at its base assorted pictures of Rivers, Jones, Moore, and more doing the Dean Dome Dance in Chapel Hill.

After all, childish reactions to outcomes such as the one from this Twitter competition help to ensure there should never be a need for a “Best College Basketball Rivalry” vote. Besides, the only necessary ad for that winner would be the one already in existence to inform travelers of the storied nemeses who share the same Exit 270 off Interstate 40: “UNC-Chapel Hill, Duke Univ.”

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