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Blue-opoly

Between them Duke and UNC have been incredibly dominant in the ACC Tournament.

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ACC Basketball Tournament - Semifinals
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 10: Amile Jefferson #21 of the Duke Blue Devils in action against the North Carolina Tar Heels during the Semi Finals of the ACC Basketball Tournament at the Barclays Center on March 10, 2017 in New York City.
Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images

Should Duke and North Carolina both win on Thursday – each as a higher seed – they will advance to meet in the ACC Tournament semifinals. That would be the 23rd time overall the neighbors clashed in any round in the league’s official championship event.

Duke holds a 13-9 edge in the tournament against Carolina, a 59.1 percent success rate.

A dozen of those matchups occurred in the final, with the teams splitting evenly at six titles apiece. Since 1992 the Blue Devils won five of the last half-dozen meetings in the final, most recently in 2011 at Greensboro.

Nine meetings came in the semis, the winner going on to gain the championship in all but 1959, 1984 and 2018. Following the sole quarterfinal contest between the pair, Duke won the title in 2002.

The odds are overwhelmingly in favor of the Blue Devils or Tar Heels, or both, reaching the semis. In the ACC Tournament’s first 65 years, they’ve been represented singly or together in the penultimate round 95.4 percent of the time – in all but 1970, 1973 and 1996.

Incredibly, when it comes to the championship round, the last time neither UNC nor Duke appeared was 1996.

Overall the schools failed to get to the final nine times: in 1954 (NC State-Wake Forest); 1956 (NC State-Wake); 1962 (Wake-Clemson); 1970 (NC State-South Carolina); 1973 (NC State-Maryland); 1974 (NC State-Maryland); 1983 (NC State-Virginia); 1990 (Georgia Tech-Virginia); and 1996 (Wake-Georgia Tech).

Since Roy Williams returned to Chapel Hill in 2004, the 15-501 duo have played just three times in the tournament, with Duke winning twice.

Half of the winners prior to this year (11 of 22) went on to a Final Four.

VERY GOOD NEIGHBOR POLICY
Duke Vs. UNC in ACC Tournament,
Winner’s Seed Listed First
(Asterisk Indicates Eventual Champion)
Year Round Winner Seeds
1959 SF UNC 2/3
1960 SF Duke* 4/1
1964 SF Duke* 1/5
1966 SF Duke* 1/4
1967 F UNC* 1/2
1969 F UNC* 1/3
1972 SF UNC* 1/4
1979 F UNC* 1/2
1980 SF Duke* 6/2
1984 SF Duke 4/1
1988 F Duke* 3/1
1989 F UNC* 4/2
1991 F UNC* 2/1
1992 F Duke* 1/3
1998 F UNC* 2/1
1999 F Duke* 1/3
2001 F Duke* 2/1
2002 QF Duke* 2/7
2003 F Duke* 3/7
2011 F Duke* 2/1
2017 SF Duke* 5/1
2018 SF UNC 6/2
QF-quarterfinal; SF-semifinal; F-final
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