Between 1991 and 1993 the ACC won three national titles.
Okay, between 1991 and 1993, 15-501 shared three national championships with two going to Duke and one to UNC.
In 1991, Duke won the two regular season games while UNC won the ACC Tournament meeting.
In 1992, UNC won in Chapel Hill while Duke won in Durham and then the ACC Tournament.
And in 1993, the teams split with each winning at home.
In Durham, champions Duke beat the next champions 81-67.
So look at what happened: Duke won back-to-back titles in 1991 and 1992, yet lost to UNC by 18 in the ACC Tournament. In 1992, the Blue Devils had a 20 point win in the ACC Tournament. And in 1993, with perhaps the purest distillation of Dean Smith’s coaching philosophy to ever take the court, UNC still couldn't get out Durham without a 14 point loss. And keep in mind that unlike 1991 and 1992, there was no Christian Laettner in this one.
Keep in mind that Duke was also beginning to push past UNC as a conference and national power. There’s no question in our mind that Duke’s back-to-back titles pushed UNC to keep up.
Just not in Cameron in 1993.
So it’s fun to watch Duke take down UNC’s purest team in Cameron. Check out the smile on Bobby Hurley’s face near the very end. Both programs were superb in the early ‘90s and each one’s wins over the others meant everything.