Tuesday, February 10, 2009

UNC - Duke

My brother in law has a string of posts going on his blog about the UNC - Duke matchup. Besides showing my brother in law's proficiency in posting youtube videos there really isn't anything that is a must read for either a Carolina fan or a Duke fan. He doesn't attempt to break down the game or go over much of the history of the matchup. There is a video of the Capel shot and Stackhouse dunk from the 1995 game during the Pete Gaudet year at Duke. Also, there are two other videos from the Tyler Hansbrough years (2006 to what seems like forever). I guess I can understand my brother-in-law's lack of depth on his posts because he hasn't been a UNC fan for that long. In fact I don't think my brother-in-law at the time even cared who won the 1995 game. He was probably getting himself excited about Erick Dampier and Dontae Jones and the eventual *1996 Final Four bound Bulldogs of Mississippi St.

*Is that the best sporting highlight in all of Mississippi St's history? Seriously? I guess you could count college baseball, but the best that team ever finished in the College World Series was 3rd in 1985 and also college baseball isn't as popular. Check it out and also check out the first picture of a famous 1st baseman.

Since my brother-in-law hasn't been a UNC fan for that long I thought I would take it upon myself to give him a little bit of a history lesson. To simply things I thought I would just look at the past 10 years and look at all Duke-UNC games since 1999. Here are some facts from the past 10 years:
  • Duke has won 6 out of the last 10 games at Cameron.
  • Duke has won 7 out of the last 10 games at the Dean Dome. (Included in that is 2 out of the past 3 in the Hansbrough years).
  • Duke has won all 4 times the teams have met in the ACC tournament.
  • Add that up and Duke has won 17 out of the past 24 games in the past 10 years.

It is cute that my brother in law gets excited about games he didn't care about (1995) or takes a certain sense of pride in yelling at *Gerald Henderson because of his hit on Hansbrough in the 2007 game. He should get excited about this year's team. While any talk about them being the best team ever should be put to rest for good, they are still a talented team that has a better shot than any other team to win the title. In fact I think on talent alone UNC does have a better team than Duke this year. They have a incredibly fast point guard, a skilled shooter, a well rounded/talented small forward and good depth at the post position. Duke on the other hand is a streaky team that relies way too heavily on two players (Henderson and Singler) and still hasn't found any true low post presence. More things have to go right for Duke to win tomorrow than for UNC to win.

*Isn't it kind of funny that from that incident Henderson has turned into a much better Nba prospect? Check out the latest mock draft where Henderson is projected as the 10th pick while Hansbrough is projected as the 27th pick.

With all of that being written I go back to the fact that this is still Duke-UNC. You can see anything from an incredible underdog team take a much more talented team into double OT (1995 game) to a future Knicks point guard go coast to coast for the winning basket. You can see JJ Redick make a great defensive read to win the game or hell you can even see Tyler Hansbrough (he who in his first there seasons averaged one 3 pointer made a year) hit a three pointer. The game is something that will be remembered for good or bad for years to come. For that reason I can only hope that Duke will win and add to an already impressive legacy.

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