How about a job as an ESPN fact checker? Clearly, they don't employ one today...
They have a new poll up, for the best game in the Duke-UNC rivalry. They list ten games (and neglect any tournament games, so you can't vote for the 1984 Semifinal where Duke handed Jordan and colleagues a defeat, or 1988's Triple Crown winning game, or the 1980 #6 vs #2 upset of UNC, or, well, you get the picture.) and have notable factual errors about three of those ten.
- They claim: Gene Banks hits 22-footer at the buzzer in finale of Coach K's first season. Yes, he hit a buzzer beater, but it wasn't the finale, it was at the end of regulation and put the game in overtime. Banks did make the winning basket, a layup.
- They claim: Turning point in rivalry; Duke's first win in Charmichael Auditorium in 18 years. UNC's home court was Carmichael, not Charmichael.
- They claim: UNC opens Dean Smith Center; Matt Hale's 28 points hands Duke only loss until Championship game. While it would have been nice, Duke lost the next game at Georgia Tech, then went on a 16 game winning streak that ended in the Championship game.
The last two are particularly egregious, since they can be easily fact-checked by looking in a media guide. Here's a hint, ESPN Guys: Media Guides are so the media doesn't make these stupid mistakes!
These wouldn't be so bad if it was an isolated case. However, in the "ESPN Top Hoops Moments" poll, they listed Jeff Capel hits buzzer-beater to lead UNC over Duke. Yep, according to ESPN, that half-court shot made by the current VCU Coach, who was wearing white in Cameron, led UNC's victory.
Earlier this year, they repeatedly stated that the last time two teams finished the regular season undefeated, it was 1976 when Indiana and Rutgers did so. However, a simple look at the NCAA Basketball Records Book (a tool a fact checker should have available) showed that in 1979 Indiana State and Alcorn State finished undefeated.
If an average Duke fan can spot the errors in ESPN's Duke related moments in the above polls, one must wonder about how many errors there are for other teams. When you lose credibility, it is hard to get it back.
ESPN claims to be the leader in sports, but currently the leadership would appear to be in errors.