It’s my senior year andthe last first UNC/duke game of my college days is tomorrow. So I thought it’d be cool to reflect on the greatest rivalry in sports and how the experience has defined my life in college.
ESPN showed a stat the other day that the last 90 or so times we’ve played against that school 8 miles down the road we’ve both scored the same amount of total points. That just goes to show you how good the rivalry is. On top of that, the two schools have combined for 5 national championships over the span of my 21 years in this world, not many rivalries see that much success in such a short period of time.
Growing up, I experienced Raymond Felton failing to get a shot up in the last 15 seconds of the game, Tyler Hansbrough taking a shot from Gerald Henderson, and perhaps my favorite, the Marvin Williams and-1 to complete one of the greatest comebacks in the history of the rivalry (outside of 8 points in 17 seconds).
I’ve experienced heartbreak plenty of times (the austin rivers shot). I’ve seen Tyler Hansbrough and Danny Green win 4 in a row at Cameron Indoor (that graduating class without a doubt had the best experience against duke).
But the good memories stick the most. Rushing Franklin Street after winning in Cameron Indoor last year. Watching duke lose in the first round to Lehigh and to Mercer in the first round. That’s what, in my opinion, dictates the rivalry. Neither team ever wants to see the other team succeed. I remember praying for Gordon Hayward’s half court shot to go in in the 2010 National Championship game and I can only imagine how duke fans felt at the end of last season.
This rivalry feels different as a student. The hatred for duke is far greater when you are a student and the games mean far more. As I take these final months with me as a UNC undergrad, the two duke games and the ensuing March Madness I have left will hopefully be some of the greatest memories of my life.
Here’s to seeing a UNC victory tomorrow night and as always GO TO HELL duke!!