Wanted to start out with a bit of flash or controversy to really heat things up and create huge numbers of posts. Then I thought about the times that I had posted to those dumba**es blogs to tell them how annoying it is when people do that. Ultimately, I think I'll just live up to the title and give you my thoughts on different subjects and you can agree or crap all over them as you wish.
Duke and North Carolina play tonight and I find myself wondering why they are considered the biggest rivalry in college basketball? There are other schools in North Carolina alone that are similarly situated geographically, so it can't just be that.
There are other conferences that have rivals, too, right? Missouri hates Kansas! UCLA hates USC! Florida hates Georgia!
Can it be because they only have basketball? UNC hasn't been relevant since Mack Brown took a powder and headed to Texas. Duke hasn't even seen a football since Spurrier left, right? Baseball and Lacrosse are niche sports in college, so they don't count. Nope there are other schools that are primarily, if not entirely, basketball schools that have rivals.
There just seems to be something special, I feel, about the national view of these two schools' programs and the players in them. North Carolina is viewed as a more athletic team while Duke is considered a more cerebral team. A part of me wonders if there is a racial undertone (or maybe it's obvious to others, as well) that no one really talks about; smart, white private-schoolers (for the most part) vs. physically-gifted, black state-schoolers. Perhaps, this does play a role in it.
Additionally, the incredibly high-level of play that consistently exists involving these two programs absolutely MUST play a role in the rivalry. It's one thing if one of the school has a couple of good years, but then that coach moves on and they suck again (see Duke football) while the other is always good. But both of these schools have been tremendous for decades (yes, even through the Doherty year especially given his recruiting).
The loyalty of past players from both schools is reminiscent of University of Miami players going back to "The U" to help mentor young players. You just listen to Jay Bilas and Hubert Davis go back and forth on the E network and you feel the passion.
Finally, the heat from the fans shows where the heart of this rivalry lies. Go onto other more specific blogs belonging to proponents of either team and you realize it's more often than not a real hatred! They both look down their noses at the other and can site a dozen or more times that their opponent's mother did something vile with a farm animal. As an ACC fan and objective observer of both teams I can tell you it's fun just to be around both groups at a bar or someone's home hearing the hideousness explode. This should be fun.
PS: I know better than to make a prediction and get myself crushed by whichever side. I just hope it's close so I can enjoy the screams.