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Nice to See It Rates So Highly

Being a UNC fan and by nature a huge college basketball fan there are few things finer than Duke-UNC or watching either the ACC or NCAA Tournament. Apparently ESPN.com Page 2 columnist Jim Caple agrees with this assertion as he ranks 101 things all sports fans must experience before they die. Here are the relevant ones:

5. NCAA subregional (March, various sites). The only problem with March Madness is that the championship game too seldom lives up to the previous two weeks of cuticle-devouring excitement. For the best experience, steer clear of the actual Final Four and go to a subregional instead. You get more games (four the first day), more upsets, more spirit and enough excitement to leave even Dick Vitale hoarse.

19. Duke-North Carolina basketball game (winter, Chapel Hill or Durham, N.C.). There are college basketball rivalries and then there is Duke-Carolina, which makes that Yankees/Red Sox thing seem like a simple misunderstanding. Cramming into old Cameron Indoor Stadium or marveling at the banners for all the Tar Heels greats in the Dean Dome is a college basketball experience not to be missed -- even if you have to camp out in K-Ville for a couple of weeks to get a ticket. (Just check with a doctor first to make sure you have all your shots.)

24. ACC basketball tournament (March, various sites). The best way to tune up for your office NCAA pool is at this classic tournament, especially when it's on Tobacco Road and so lively it should come with a surgeon general's warning advising pregnant women and people with high blood pressure to stay away.