Sunday, February 8, 2009
UNC versus Duke
Eight miles and two shades of blue separate the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Duke University. Between those eight miles and two hues lies a basketball rivalry unmatched by others. These two programs were brought to prominence by Hall of Fame coaches Dean Smith (UNC) and Mike Kryzewski (Duke). Roy Williams now mans the sidelines of the Tar Heels and has guided UNC back to the upper echelon of college basketball. On Wednesday night (9 PM EST) the great coaches will play a part in another chapter of college basketball's greatest rivalry.
There are too many memorable moments made by UNC and Duke to recount them all. Each team has fielded Naismith Award recipients, NBA superstars, but most of all champions. However, it is not the quality of players or the legendary coaches that separate this rivalry from others, it is the mutual respect, intense passion, and character each player and coach involved has.
Wednesday night at Cameroon Indoor Stadium (Duke's historic arena) will play host to an unparalleled atmosphere. Both teams have National and ACC Championship aspirations and as history has shown, they will need to go through each other to achieve these goals. Naismith Award winner Tyler Hansbrough, and forwards Danny Green and Marcus Ginyard are on a quest to finish their collegiate careers with unheard of 4-0 record versus Duke at Cameron Indoor Stadium. As all fans of this rivalry know - achieving that will not be easy.
As for me, I will be anxiously sweating this game out hoping for a UNC victory. I suggest everyone who appreciates passion and beautiful competition watches on Wednesday night even if you do not care about college basketball. I promise it will not disappoint.