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A Virginia Take On The Duke Loss

Pretty good outlook

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Virginia v Duke
DURHAM, NORTH CAROLINA - JANUARY 19: A member of the Cameron Crazies cheers for the Duke Blue Devils during the first half of their game against the Virginia Cavaliers at Cameron Indoor Stadium on January 19, 2019 in Durham, North Carolina.
Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images

Duke beat Virginia in Cameron Saturday night in a tight game that Duke more or less controlled but never by much. With a few breaks it could obviously have gone Virginia’s way.

During the game we thought about the former so-called rivalry with Maryland which honestly baffled many Duke fans, including us. It wasn't so much a rivalry as Maryland just hating Duke and not like Duke or State hating UNC. It was an unhealthy hatred. We hated to see them leave the ACC but didn’t mind not playing them anymore if that makes sense. It had just gotten ugly.

We much prefer the way the rivalry with Virginia has shaped up. There are normal conference tensions - Duke fans probably think that Virginia people are smarmy and surely UVA folk have opinions on Duke (quick Virginia riff: when DNA established that Thomas Jefferson had indeed fathered Sally Hemmings’ children, her descendants asked to be buried in the Jefferson family graveyard. One of his previously known descendants didn’t want to do that explaining that “we’re not racists. We’re just snobs”).

Playing Virginia is not nearly as unpleasant as playing Maryland was. For one thing, no one feels unsafe. For another, other than being a bit dull, Virginia is entirely admirable. There is no scandal, no nastiness, not even a player who’s particularly easy to dislike. Kyle Guy is about as close as it gets.

All of that is a way to link a piece by our colleague Caroline Darney. You may recall that she wrote a piece previously when she sat with the Crazies and how much she enjoyed the experience.

She’s cool, her team is tremendous and her piece is smart. We could easily play three times and, as with Maryland in 2001, possibly four. The trip to Charlottesville in three weeks should be most interesting.

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