I am a University of North Carolina fan. No, I wasn't born in North Carolina, I have never lived there and never even set foot in the state. However, I have been a North Carolina Tar Heel basketball fan since I was old enough to watch the games and understand what was happening out there. As of tomorrow, Carolina will meet their arch-rival, Duke University, for what I believe is the 219th time. Despite Duke's recent dominance, North Carolina leads the all-time series 124-95, though Duke has finally taken the lead in games played in Durham, 47-42. Tomorrow's game will be played at Duke, in Durham, North Carolina. UNC resides at Chapel Hill, also in North Carolina.
Many writers, sportscasters and pundits consider this the greatest rivalry in college basketball. While I am not entirely sure, I would defintely agree that records are usually menaingless when these two teams meet. And it is usually a good game. If you can ignore the annoying and shameless histrionics of the blatant Duke-promoter Dick Vitale, most of the announcers and personnel involved in the game usually live up to expectations.
For a hilarious look at how we fans feel about the rivalry, Alston Ramsey has a wonderful article at National Review on the Carolina-Duke rivalry. Read the whole thing. And then watch the game tomorrow. Ah, I love the smell of rivalry in the morning.....
UPDATE: It appears that Duke senior guard JJ Redick, over whom the East Coast media have fawned all year, is actually mortal. Carolina forced him into a 5-21 shooting perfromance- on his senior day. On the same day, UNC freshman forward Tyler Hansbrough went off for 27 points, 10 rebounds and got Duke senior center Sheldon Williams into foul trouble. Final score: Duke 76, North Carolina 83. Hurrah!