Here are the best rivalry stories we've collected so far. Please check out the last one. You won't hear stuff like that every day!
Duke vs. UNC 2004 - My junior year
I was spending the second term of my junior year on a Duke program in New York City missing my beloved Blue Devils. On a trip to Washington, DC early in the semester with others on my program, I, as sometimes happens to even the most well behaved students, wound up in a bit of legal trouble and was cited by DC police. I was ordered to appear before a judge to sign up for community service in early March and I returned to New York without giving the ticket another thought.
Early March came and I rode a bus four hours to our nation's capital, where in the early morning hours, I was told that I had to do two consecutive days of community service in one of the city's street cleaning programs. I knew the rest of my semester would be hectic and the only days I could take were the following weekend: the first weekend of Spring Break. Again, I returned to New York, without worrying about the punishment; that is, of course, until I realized that I had signed up for the weekend of the Duke vs. UNC game at Cameron, the one that I had been planning on going to all semester.
I panicked and thought about ways I might get from DC to Durham for the game. Too young and broke to rent a car, I thought that maybe my thumb might carry me down; however, getting back to DC in time for the second day of community service might require more reliable transportation. As I thought, my older brother, a recent Northwestern grad still living in Chicago, called to talk about my court appearance and the impending game against Carolina. He has been a Duke fan since we were kids in Los Angeles and has always had attending a Duke vs. UNC game at the top of his "100 Things to do Before I Die" list. After telling him my problem, he and I concocted a scheme by which he would fly to DC and see if we could make it happen on our own.
I again took the bus to DC on the following Friday and awoke before dawn on Saturday to start cleaning the vomit-covered streets of Adams Morgan. My brother's flight was coming in at 11am and luckily because of the heavy rain the community service supervisor released me in time to meet him at the airport. Soaked, I piled into a car he had rented at the airport and we quickly escaped the Beltway. By noon, we were speeding down I-95 to Durham and filed into the back of the walk-up line at 4:00pm, a cool 5 hours before game-time. I had called ahead and wrangled a Duke ID for him to use, but since we were half way to Science Drive on Towerview, we were not holding out much hope for getting in.
In spite of all of the reassurance that the line monitors gave us, we still thought, as the tip-off drew nearer, that we were doomed to stand on the sidewalk outside Cameron for the biggest game of the season. Ten minutes before the tip, the fire marshal informed us that those remaining outside would not be able to enter the stadium: we were 12 spaces from the front of the line.
Knowing we had driven too far and worked too hard to let this opportunity pass, I told my brother to follow closely and we slinked around the south of Cameron. Yellow-clad guards taking tickets and looking generally intimidating manned all of the doors on the graduate student side. I don't know if the last door was open by accident or if it was simply a matter of luck that the guard turned his head when he did, but my brother and I slipped right into the front foyer of Cameron with only a few moments to spare. We stepped into the doors of the graduate student section, only to be turned away by an usher demanding a wristband. We turn-tailed and retraced our steps into the foyer.
I had worked in Cameron as a freshman and knew the office-side of the building quite well. We moved through the door near the promotions office and raced down a hallway that runs behind the bleachers on the TV-side of the student section. We heard someone yell, but we were now literally inches from our goal: we were not going to stop.
As we jumped out of the press door, the door the team and media file through to get to the court, we were greeted by a police officer and an usher who seemed as surprised to see us as we were to see them. Whether they recognized me from previous games or saw that we lacked any wristbands and made the connection, we will never know, but they both smiled as we squeezed our way into the back row of the student section.
The game was the best of the three Duke/UNC games I'd seen in Cameron. Yes, it had my brother, but it also had the most skilled and best coached UNC team that we had encountered to that point. Watching Chris Duhon play his final game in Cameron while trouncing the Tar Holes filled me with more pride and spirit than any other moment in my years in the Gothic Wonderland.
After the game, we ran into the quad, my brother and I lifting a Clocktower Quad bench high above our heads and into the already massive bonfire. The homecoming was especially sweet for me, as it was the first time that year I had seen many of my friends who were still back on campus. We drank some beers, burned some wood, and simply celebrated our inherent superiority to the University of North Carolina. It was truly a brilliant moment.
At 12:30am, my brother and I sneaked away from the still-raging fire and into his rented car. Back on I-85 we recounted the night and the adventure and planned others for the future. At 4:30am, he dropped me off at the government building where I was to meet the community service supervisor at 6 to start a hard day's work. As my brother raced to catch his dawn flight back to Chicago, I curled up on a bench and drifted off to sleep.
As the sun crept up, my supervisor shook me awake and told me to grab a broom. I hesitated for a second, caught my senses, and thought for a moment that it all might have been a dream. But, as I looked down at the "Go to Hell Carolina" still painted on my chest under my shirt and I knew I had not been dreaming: I had been living the greatest day of my life.
Class of 2005
Saturday March ?, 1968. As an 8.5 year old Duke Fanatic, I sat mesmerized in front of the TV and watched Duke beat Carolina in triple overtime. My Mom was in Fayetteville's Cape Fear Valley Hospital having delivered my younger brother David on February 28th. He turned out to be a Carolina fan (a black sheep in every family) so every year he receives a phone call or an email announcing the anniversary of the triple overtime victory with Happy Birthday as an after thought. GO DUKE!!! BEAT CAROLINA!!!
I had absolutely no idea how lucky I was. My first visit to Cameron I was invited by a friend to the Duke-UNC game when Johnny Dawkins was a senior. Quoted this season as Coach K's most memorable game. There is only one word to describe it, unbelievable!
Spring, 1988. Back when camping out wasn't a write of passage, but was 3 nights of fun. Game was the Sunday of Spring Break, and the weather was great. First half was a tie, if I recall. 2nd half started with greatest run I've ever seen. Three pointer, three pointer, steal - 2 pointer, 2 pointer, steal, dunk and foul. Dean Smith did what he had never done before - call a timeout in Cameron. It's still the loudest I have ever heard Cameron.
February, 1995. Was in Chicago visiting a friend. The Duke-UNC game was on ESPN2, and we had to go to a bar to watch because nobody had it on cable (my how times have changed). The bar was literally 50/50 UNC - Duke. When Stackhouse had that dunk in the first half...let's just say the Duke crowd was pretty quiet. When Capel hit his shot at the end of the 1st OT...wow. After the game both fan bases were exhausted and all we could say to each other was - "Great game. Great, great game."
In the fall of 2000, I had class with a couple of the Duke players. Right after Halloween one of the starting players told me excitedly, "A couple of us from the team went to Franklin Street, right in the heart of Chapel Hill. We were dressed in black with scream masks on, and *nobody* knew who we were!! We walked right up to the Carolina players and teased them. I said, 'Haywood, I lo-ove you!!" And they had no idea it was us. Do you realize that at any other time if I were standing in the middle of that town, I would be mauled? It was awesome."
I can't remember the exact year, but it was in the '60's, way back when Vic Bubas was coach.
I grew up in Durham, my father was on the faculty and my mother worked in the library, and we had tickets way up in the corner somewhere -- not a bad angle, but pretty far away for Cameron. Anyway, my single best mental image of a Carolina game was from the 'Fred Lind game', which was triple overtime, if I recall correctly. Just about everyone had fouled out, and the only big man left was Lind, who'd played not at all up to then.
And there was this one moment, with Duke down by two as I remember it, when there was a breakaway of some kind, a sort of semi-fast-break by Duke; plenty of time. Fred, who had no known shot beyond a few feet from the basket, was on the left wing, and the ball got kicked to him, with the presumption that he'd hold and re-pass, maybe, or forge ahead to the hoop, anyway. He was at about free throw extended, so probably 17-18 feet away from the hoop.
And he pulled up for a jump shot! I have this image of Vic Bubas rising out of his chair, with arms flailing, for all the world looking like he was screaming 'NO!', and then stopping cold as the ball went in the hoop. REALLY a bad shot, but darned if it didn't go in. So we were tied. And there was this sort of 'never mind' moment, on the bench.
And there's the follow-up image of Fred being carried out of Cameron on the backs of Duke students.
Oh, a friend had watched the game on TV at home, and I think he said that the SAME Pilot Life 'good egg' commercial ran, it must have been, twenty times in succession, during time outs and breaks between OT's, as the broadcast went on and on and on that Saturday afternoon.
Well, that's how I remember it.
February 7, 2005
I realize that most of the readers of the Duke Basketball Report think that Duke basketball of the 30s and 40s is ancient history and unworthy of consideration in comparison with DukeÂs recent great teams. Duke had a few excellent basketball teams before the arrival of either Vic Bubas or Mike Krzyzewski. With Bill Werber leading the way Duke was 18-2 in 1930. In 1942 they were 22-2.
The 1940-41 team provided me with my best memories of not one but two Duke-Carolina games. UNC won the first game in Chapel Hill 51-33. Duke had little size and not much speed, but they had heart. After the first 51-33 disaster Duke needed to win its last four games against teams that had beaten Duke earlier in the season in order to qualify for the Southern Conference tournament. Duke beat NC State, Wake Forest, and Washington and Lee, but the prospect for beating an excellent Carolina team was very small. Carolina
was led by a very good, very big George Glamack The UNC game in the Indoor Stadium
was not a sellout, but a large student attendance led by Duke football and baseball players
(who were used to winning!) made the Indoor Stadium a noisy pro-Duke environment.
DukeÂs only big man, Chuck Holley, fouled out early in the second half. 6Â3Â Bill Mock had the unenviable task of guarding the 6Â9Â Glamack. Glamack scored 17 points and while the score remained close Carolina seemed to be in control of the game. Glamack fouled out with several minutes to play with Carolina leading by a point or two. Duke tied the score and Bill Mock scored to give Duke a 35-33 lead. After a Carolina turnover
Duke froze the ball for almost two minutes. It was an impossible win, but the celebration didnÂt last long because when the conference tournament pairings were announced Duke had to play Carolina in the first round.
In the first tournament game Chuck Holley and Eddie Shokes double teamed Glamack who got only 10 points. It was a close game all the way, but this time it was obvious that Carolina was not in control. Duke won 38-37. Duke beat William and Mary and South Carolina rather easily in anti-climatic games to win the Southern Conference championship. While the scores were low those two Carolina games were two of the most exciting games I have ever seen in 66 years of watching all the college basketball
games in universities where I studied or worked. Only the Laettner shot was more exciting.
Dr. Robert V. Nauman
Baseball letterman 42, 43, 44