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There’s A Pattern To Duke-UNC Games Lately That Favors The Blue Devils

Of course it swings back and forth over time.

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North Carolina State v Duke
DURHAM, NC - FEBRUARY 16: Zion Williamson #1 and RJ Barrett #5 of the Duke Blue Devils react following their game against the North Carolina State Wolfpack at Cameron Indoor Stadium on February 16, 2019 in Durham, North Carolina. Duke won 94-78.
Photo by Lance King/Getty Images

We had some issues with this chart and apologize for the late corrections.

Duke has won 14 of the last 21 games with North Carolina, regardless of venue. This is a tendency toward domination, at least in another setting, but that’s not how we see the series.

Since Roy Williams returned to his alma mater in 2003-04, the teams have met on each other’s home courts on 30 occasions and three times in the ACC Tournament. The rivalry remain heated but notably respectful, particularly between the Hall of Fame coaches, Williams and Mike Krzyzewski. Through 15 seasons Duke leads 19-14.

Duke has won two-thirds of the time since 2010, when it captured the NCAA title. That advantage tailed off to seven Duke wins in the dozen most recent encounters.

For much of Williams’ tenure, the schools followed a surprisingly distinct pattern in their annual series. Less significant than the location of the games was the order in which they were played.

First time around, wherever the teams played, the advantage was apt to go to Krzyzewski’s Blue Devils. Return engagement, it was wise to bet on the Tar Heels. In second meetings Carolina has won nine of 15 regardless of venue -- in keeping with the overall pattern.

The pair split their regular-season contests over the past two years, with the pattern reversed in 2018.

The last time the Tar Heels swept the season series was 2009, when they captured the NCAA title. The Devils swept most recently in 2016.

Duke won a pair ACC Tournament encounters in this decade – a 17-point victory in the 2011 final and a 10-point win in the 2017 semifinals – and UNC won in last year’s semis by five.

Record Between Duke and North Carolina
Since Roy Williams’ Arrival For 2004 Season
Year Site Winner
2004 @NC Duke
@D Duke
2005 @D Duke
2006 @NC Duke
2007 @D NC
2008 @NC Duke
2009 @D NC
2010 @NC Duke
@D Duke
2011 @D Duke
2012 @NC Duke
2013 @D Duke
@NC Duke
2014 @NC NC
@D Duke
2015 @D Duke
@NC Duke
2016 @NC Duke
2017 @D Duke
2018 @NC NC
@D Duke
2019 @D 2/20
@NC 3/9

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