It’s the best rivalry in sports. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. As a Carolina fan, if you don’t hate Duke with every fiber of your being it’s quite possible that you don’t have a pulse. There is no choice but to win. To embarrass them. Bonus points if someone in that ugly shade of blue cries. To do it on their home court would just make it sweeter.
There are usually two big barometers for a UNC basketball season when thinking back after it’s over: the two games against Duke and the results of the NCAA Tournament. Beyond all else, those results just carry more weight in fans’ minds. The 2016-2017 version of the Tar Heels are about to embark on the first of those challenges on Thursday.
We decided to share some of our favorite moments from the UNC/Duke rivalry with some of them very obviously providing a rough estimate of our respective ages. Feel free to leave your own favorite memories in the comments below.
There are so many that I could name, and I hold every win over that school in a special place in my heart, but my absolute favorite is Tyler Hansbrough making a three at
Cameron Hansbrough Indoor and JJ Reddick spending his senior night blubbering into Krzyzewski’s shoulder. That made the previous years of watching his smug face slightly more bearable, if only just a tiny bit.
Roll the tape!
2014 win at home. Freshman year, first Duke game I ever went to, game was delayed, we were significant underdogs, first Franklin rush. I think we hadn't beaten them in a couple years, too.
I'd say my moments are the Marvin Williams putback, THans final time in Cameron and Zeller's final game in Cameron.
Mine is probably last year when we beat Duke at Cameron to win the ACC regular season title.
Favorite UNC-Dook moment: February 5, 1992. I was a senior. Duke was #1 and headed to a second national title, and they were, frankly, better than UNC. But that night they came to the Dean Dome and in what will forever be known to people of my era as the "Bloody Montross Game," they got upset 75-73. At the time, people were at peak Duke fatigue and the Blue Devils were loaded with intensely hateable players.
Fans rushed the floor and spilled out onto Franklin Street because for one night, the Wicked Witch was finally dead, and UNC had taken a big step towards re-establishing their position (they would win the national championship the next year). I ended the night by being thrown out of Molly Maguire's, which remains the only time in my life that I was physically thrown out of a bar (and I swear to you it was not my fault).
I have three...
1) Beating Duke in '05 after being down 9 with less than 3 mins to play. Sean May had a 20/20 game and of course Marvin's putback. It was Roy's first win vs Duke as Carolina HC. Win preceded the first national title I remember (was born in March of '93).
2) JJ Redick, Sheldon Williams and Lee Melchioni senior night at Cameron in '06. Hansbrough' freshman year with Frasor, Green, Ginyard, David Noel and Reyshawn Terry pulling the upset on that Saturday night. Could watch Hansbrough's three pointer as the shot clock expired on loop for the rest of my life. Also, ruining Reddick's senior night was amazing.
3) Danny Green posterizing Greg Paulus + Leslie McDonald dunking on Miles Plumlee
My favorite Carolina-Duke moment was the game in Cameron in 2006, but more specifically one moment in that game: Tyler Hansbrough's three with the shot clock expiring late in that second half. That moment and that game sort of marks the arrival of that era in UNC basketball for me.
1. Watching the 2005 victory over Duke on Franklin Street and then celebrating on Franklin afterwards.
2. My favorite plays will forever be the Jerry Stackhouse dunk over two Dukies and the Danny Green dunk over Greg Paulus.
Since I didn't pick just one the Stackhouse dunk would have to be at the top.
My first Carolina-Duke game was March 9, 2003. My dad and I scalped tickets outside the Smith Center. I don't remember the exact cost of the tickets, but they were a lot. They were in section 129 on the very last row. And I mean the very last row. We always joke that if we took another step back and we would've fell out the building. The whole game we stood, sometimes with our backs leaning up against the wall.
This was the last year of the Matt Doherty era and the Blue Devils were riding a six-game winning streak against the Heels. Duke came into the game ranked in the top ten, and UNC was unranked.
This was the game that had the bench-clearing scuffle after Raymond Felton received a bloodied nose from Dahntay Jones (of course there was no foul called). Doherty went to help Felton in front of the Duke bench when Chris Collins starting yelling at Doherty and Felton. When Doherty stepped up for his player, some scrub off the Duke bench pushed Doherty and all hell broke loose. Here is the clip from the scrum: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HxxCWbde6sc.
My dad graduated in the same class as Larry Brown, and he said this incident was reminiscent of "The Fight" from 1961 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I0RroAH4vwU).
There were some big buckets from Felton, Rashad McCants, Jackie Manuel, and David Noel down the stretch to keep the Heels ahead by at least a possession. Carolina was up three as Dahntay Jones tossed a halfcourt shot that went in. After the officials reviewed the shot, he released it after time expired and the Heels hung on for the victory. As long as I can remember, if Duke gets in a cheap shot (e.g. Bloody Montross Game, Bloody Hansbrough game, etc.), Carolina was able to dig deep and pull off the victory. This game was no exception.