A stroll down memory lane.
Via Tar Heel Blue:
1957 - The top-ranked Tar Heels completed the first undefeated regular season in ACC history with an 86-72 win on March 1. The game was highly anticipated because Duke had nearly won at Woollen Gym three weeks earlier before Tommy Kearns' two free throws pulled it out. Carolina went on to complete "McGuire's Miracle" with a 32-0 record and NCAA championship.
1965 - Dean Smith earned his first win over Duke Coach Vic Bubas after seven straight losses. The unranked Tar Heels upset the No. 8 Blue Devils behind 43 points from senior Billy Cunningham and sophomore Bobby Lewis. The 65-62 stunner came three days after Carolina's loss at Wake Forest and the infamous hanging in effigy of Smith from a tree outside of Woollen.
1980 - Freshman forward James Worthy was emerging when UNC visited the top-ranked Blue Devils of Coach Bill Foster. Worthy's spin and dunk over a stunned Kenny Dennard inspired his teammates, who broke open a close game and went on to post a shocking 82-67 upset. Worthy went down for the season a week later with a broken ankle against Maryland.
1985 - Duke had snapped an 18-year losing streak at Carmichael Auditorium the previous January, and the winner of the rematch would finish in a three-way tie for first place in the ACC. Junior Brad Daugherty had 23 points and 12 rebounds and Steve Hale`s driving three-point play down the stretch sent the eighth-ranked Heels to a 78-68 win over the No. 5 Blue Devils.
1989 - Carolina sat 13th in the country heading into the January 18 visit to top-ranked and undefeated Duke (13-0). Senior guard Jeff Lebo was out with a sprained ankle and, upon limping out on crutches, received a dozen roses from the Duke cheerleaders (which Lebo refused). Two hours later, after J. R. Reid and Scott Williams clobbered the Dukies on the backboards, the Heels laughed their way back to Chapel Hill with a 91-71 victory.
1990 - The next year found UNC unranked before both games against Duke. After frustrating freshman Bobby Hurley at the Smith Center, Carolina's King Rice did it again in the rematch at Durham. Rice's brilliant 20 points and eight assists helped the Heels complete the sweep, 87-75, which had all the Cameron Crazies crying when it was over.
1994 - Grant Hill's last home game pitted his second-ranked team against Carolina's No. 4 Tar Heels. Duke had already finished first in the ACC standings, but the hot-shooting Tar Heels completed another sweep of the Blue Devils behind 20 points from Donald Williams. Freshman Rasheed Wallace's exclamation point dunk down the lane secured the 87-77 win.
1995 - The famous double-overtime thriller that sidelined Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski watched from his living room. Cameron sweltered that night, and the game lasted until nearly midnight before Jeff McInnis' steal and layup won it. Carolina went on to finish first in the ACC that season, with the Tar Heels advancing to their third Final Four of the 1990s.
2001 -- This was Matt Doherty's brightest moment as Carolina's head coach, as his team won its 15th straight game and took over the No. 1 ranking a week later. Sophomore Joseph Forte, junior Jason Capel and senior Brendan Haywood combined for 58 points. Haywood's two free throws iced the 85-83 win, Doherty's biggest in his three seasons leading the program.
2006 -2007-2008 - Let's lump these three together because they all seem so similar. Tyler Hansbrough was banging around in the middle of things each time. And, each time, the game turned on a crucial possession or two down the stretch. Tyler's back for a fourth (and final) visit, so should Wednesday night be any different? By the way, including those last three straight, Carolina's all-time record at Duke is 45-47.
Of these I distinctly remember the 1989 win. Jeff Lebo was lost during one of the worst blowout losses I think I have witnessed by a UNC team at Charlottesville the previous weekend. That left the Heels starting sophomore King Rice at point heading into Durham to face #1 Duke. At present the win at Duke in 2006 with Tyler Hansbrough hitting a three to put UNC up big is presently ranking as one of my favorites though I also enjoyed the win last season at Duke as well.