Thursday, March 3, 2011

The Greatest Rivalry in Sports

Throughout sports there are teams, fans, and organizations that just flat out hate another one.  The Red Sox-Yankees is a classic rivalry, as is the Lakers-Celtics; however, college basketball's Atlantic Coast Conference offers us the greatest rivalry in all of sports.  Both teams feature hall of fame coaches, a shade of blue, and a hell of a basketball program.  The schools are separated by just 8 miles and are two of the most successful programs in the history of college basketball.  Combined, the two schools have 9 national championships and 32 final four appearances.  These two schools have had over 150 total players selected in the NBA Draft and once again this year, you'll see that Duke University next to a player's name in the first round of the draft (Kyle Singler).  Duke and North Carolina play each other for the second time this season on Saturday.  It will be a tough game for both teams and is very important.  The winner will win the ACC Regular Season Title, but that is a secondary prize, as watching your biggest rival go down is so much sweeter.

Just three months ago, Duke was ranked #1 and seemed unstoppable.  The Blue Devils fought without one of their biggest contributors, Kyrie Irving, who still hasn't entered a game since his injury. After a loss to Florida State, Duke has rebounded by winning 12 of 14 games.  A month ago, most people thought that a 13-2 record in the ACC would guarantee a #1 seed in the ACC tournament, but UNC, possibly the hottest team in the country, responded to their critics to put pressure on Duke.  After an early non-conference loss to Texas, UNC has gone 16-2.  A preseason-All American selection, Harrison Barnes, who is only a freshman, has become more comfortable in the UNC offense.  He is beginning to dominate games, highlighted by his game winning three pointer last night against Florida State.  UNC lost to Duke by 6 points last month, but led all of the first half.  This team has the ability to win this game and playing in the Dean Smith Center will help.  Duke is fighting for a #1 seed in the NCAA tournament, but before they can do that, they must take on the team that hates them most. 

Until Saturday, what is your favorite sports rivalry? 


Anonymous said...

sorry bud, but the greatest rivalry in sports is michigan vs. ohio state. not even close.

Anonymous said...

I disagree. Yankees-Red Sox is the best rivalry in sports. Can you think of a rivalry that better sums up the drama of athletics? Duke-UNC is heated, but it is only relevant to a select amount of people. Yankees-Red Sox features pivotal moments which are ingrained into the American psyche, a corresponding political narrative (if you are willing to read that far into it), and sports legends synonymous with 20th century manhood (Williams, DiMaggio, Ruth).

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