The rivalry between Duke and UNC is being mentioned in the same breath as the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox ahead of Saturday’s much-anticipated college basketball game at Cameron Indoor Stadium.
Saturday’s game is the first Duke vs. UNC matchup since the ACC teams met in last year’s Final Four. ESPN’s Seth Greenberg explained why the rivalry is one of the greatest in all of sports, comparing it to that between the Yankees and Red Sox.
“This is a national treasure. This is the Yankees and the Boston Red Sox.”
—@SethOnHoops on the @UNC_Basketball and @DukeMBB rivalry 🏀 pic.twitter.com/ByEuHUexhR
— College GameDay (@CollegeGameDay) February 4, 2023
“If you look at the history of this game, you’re talking about some of the most memorable moments in the history of college basketball,” Greenberg said on “College Gameday.” “This is not Duke-Carolina. This is a national treasure. This is the Yankees and the Boston Red Sox.
“And it’s the great players that have played in this game. You don’t have to say full names. It’s K. It’s Roy. It’s Dean. It’s J-Will. It’s MJ. It’s JJ. This game is bigger than any other game in college basketball because it’s not just for Duke and North Carolina, it’s for the country.”
North Carolina beat Duke 81-77 in the Final Four to reach the national championship game of the 2022 NCAA Tournament. It wasn’t simply the first time that the rivals met with a trip to the title game on the line. The Tar Heels topped the Blue Devils in the final game of Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski’s career.
The first Duke vs. UNC game of the season has plenty of juice, even though both teams are in the middle of somewhat disappointing campaigns. Neither team is ranked in the latest AP Top 25 poll. North Carolina has a 15-7 record. Duke is 16-6.
North Carolina was college basketball’s preseason No. 1 team. Duke was ranked No. 7 for Jon Scheyer’s first year as the Blue Devils’ head coach.
UNC has the edge in the rivalry with a 143-115 all-time record over Duke.