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Barry Jacobs On A Surprising Duke-North Carolina Stat

OK, OK. Throw the record book out the window.

Seems like a waste of a good record book to us, but who are we to quibble with tradition?

Before we disregard the record, though, there's a statistic we frankly find hard to ignore. It probably has no predictive value when Duke and North Carolina collide, but it certainly is suggestive. Of something.

This week marks the 20th time the teams have met since Roy Williams took over at Chapel Hill for the 2003-04 season. There's nothing surprising about the fact the regular-season record between the Tar Heels and Blue Devils is 9-9 during that span. (The 19th matchup came in the 2011 ACC Tournament finals, won 75-58 by Duke.)

What is surprising is the pattern to recent results in the series:

Regardless of location, Duke has won seven of the first annual meetings between the old rivals. That's 7-2, advantage Mike Krzyzewski.

Then, regardless of location, North Carolina has won seven of the second annual meetings between the two. That's 7-2, advantage Williams.

This is so symmetrical, it's scary.

There's more. Regardless of the timing, Duke is 5-4 at the Smith Center during Roy's Reign. UNC is 5-4 at Cameron during Mike's Moment.

Predictable unpredictable, right?

A few other notes of symmetry: Duke has swept the series twice during the past nine years (2004, 2010) and Carolina has swept twice (2007, 2009). The Devils twice won three games in a row; so did the Heels.

If there's any trend, it's that Krzyzewski's teams have won five of the last seven. The teams split in 2012, each winning on the other's home court.

Record Between Duke and North Carolina
Since Roy Williams' Arrival For 2004 Season
Year Site Winner
2004 @NC Duke
  @D Duke
2005 @D Duke
  @NC NC
2006 @NC Duke
  @D NC
2007 @D NC
  @NC NC
2008 @NC D
  @D NC
2009 @D NC
  @NC NC
2010 @NC Duke
  @D Duke
2011 @D Duke
  @NC NC
  ACCT Duke
2012 @NC Duke
  @D NC