Duke basketball hints at special treat for UNC game

Duke basketball forward Wendell Moore (Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports)
Duke basketball forward Wendell Moore (Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports) /

Some Duke basketball threads have been begging to test their rivalry magic.

With little else to realistically hope for this Duke basketball season, nothing would be finer than to witness “For The Brotherhood” jerseys smothering Carolina.

In Chapel Hill. On UNC Senior Night.

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Judging by the following tweet late Friday night from the official Duke basketball account, it looks as if those sweet uniforms are now set to make their first appearance of the 2020-21 campaign:

So at 6 p.m. Saturday, expect to see the sharp threads when ACC Player of the Year candidate Matthew Hurt and the Blue Devils (11-10, 9-8 ACC) try to snap their two-game losing streak — both defeats in overtime — while also attempting to avoid a season sweep at the hands of the Tar Heels (15-9, 9-6 ACC).

Recounting the jerseys’ brief history, Duke actually unveiled them at home in an eventual win over Wake Forest on Jan. 11, 2020, with GoDuke.com emphasizing their significance at the time:

“The Brotherhood jersey is predominantly navy blue in color and trimmed in white, with ‘DUKE’ in the gothic font…The jersey serves as not only a nod to Duke University’s history and tradition with the gothic lettering and darker shade of blue but is meant to embrace the Blue Devils’ basketball culture that has been sustained over head coach Mike Krzyzewski’s remarkable four decades…”

The 2019-20 Duke basketball squad then came out on top again while wearing them at Syracuse on Feb. 1, 2020. One week later, though, the jerseys saw their first blemish at NC State in overtime.

Despite the L the last time the Blue Devils sported the jerseys, an Instagram poll from Duke in May 2020 revealed fans view them as best in program history.

Duke basketball’s timing aligning with traditional rivalry meeting time

True, the year’s first Duke-UNC basketball game is often the most thrilling of the two scheduled clashes. But the regular-season finale has one edge: consistent scheduling. While the first meeting has bounced between mid-January to mid-February, the second has been on the first or second weekend of March for decades (and usually the last weekend of February before that).

As for the rivalry’s all-time March 6 battles on Tobacco Road, the Blue Devils hold a 3-2 advantage over the Tar Heels.

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If that clip improves to 4-2 on Saturday night, then don’t be surprised to see the all-time debut for the home-white version of the “For The Brotherhood” jerseys in early March next year.