On Wednesday, Feb. 17, SiriusXM College Sports Nation gets listeners set for Duke-North Carolina (tip-off is at 9 pm ET – listen on channel 84) with a special showcasing college basketball’s most famed rivalry.
Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski’s weekly SiriusXM show, Basketball and Beyond with Coach K, airs at 7 pm ET; tune in for Krzyzewski’s thoughts on the historic match-up. A special hour-long documentary – part of College Sports Nation’s “All America Series” – examining the history and intensity of the rivalry follows at 8 pm. Fans can expect a look into the origins of the series and its historic moments, experiencing those moments firsthand with archival audio from memorable games.
“This is a great rivalry, as opposed to a very good one,” Krzyzewski said. “This is a great rivalry because it has stood the test of time. When something is great it means it’s been there for a long time and it has a certain excellence about it that separates it from most. Our games against North Carolina over the decades have proven to stand that test of greatness and time and excellence … We’re privileged to be a part of it.”
Duke and UNC legends, Grant Hill and Eric Montrose, respectively, chime in on the significance of the rivalry and what it means to college hoops in this short preview of the special:
The fierce rivalry stems in part from the proximity of the two schools, located just 10 miles apart along Tobacco Road. It also has something to do with the fact that both teams feature different shades of blue as their school’s colors; but it mainly comes down to the on-court competition. The two teams are perennial contenders in the Atlantic Coast Conference. Both among the top-five all-time winningest basketball programs in NCAA Division I history; both have won five national championships; and the two have combined for 34 Final Four appearances (18 for UNC, 16 for Duke). UNC leads the all-time series, 133-107.
Though at its core it is simply a local rivalry, it grew to national prominence during the 1980s due to increased coverage of the ACC in national broadcasts by the three major networks and cable channels such as ESPN. The final regular-season match-up between the two programs has been nationally-televised for most of the past 30 years. With more opportunities to witness the two teams, learn their players and hear from Krzyzewski and legendary UNC coach Dean Smith, the national audience was able to decide which side of the rivalry they were on.
For some, the rivalry is much bigger than basketball. For some, it’s as big as Good vs. Evil. As a private university, Duke is perceived as a school for “elitists”; outsiders with a sense of entitlement who populate Durham, N.C. North Carolina is a public university, and is viewed as a more grounded school for the locals who choose to stay at Chapel Hill. Some believe that the side you choose in the Duke-UNC rivalry says more about your character and personality than it does you basketball fandom.
The fifth-ranked Tar Heels (21-4, 10-2) are led by Brice Johnson (16.4 points, 10 rebounds) and Marcus Paige (13 points, 3.7 assists). Duke is ranked 20th, riding a four-game winning streak. Grayson Allen leads the Blue Devils with 20.7 points, followed by freshman Brandon Ingram (17.6). It’l be interesting to see how Ingram is treated by the fans at Chapel Hill; Kinston, a native of Kinston, N.C. was expected to attend North Carolina when he was one of the nation’s top recruits, but instead chose rival Duke.
Whatever side you’re on, one thing is for certain: you’re in for a great game. This is a clash of two historic programs that genuinely hate each other, and the atmosphere in the Dean Smith Center will be electric. This is college basketball at its finest, and SiriusXM’s special coverage will guide you through the game.
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