In just under four hours... the University of North Carolina Tarheels will host the Duke Blue Devils as the two teams face off for the 231st time. Whoever wins tonight will grab the #1 seed in the ACC tournament which begins next Thursday. They met less than a month ago and Duke was the victor, coming back to stun North Carolina after being down 43 to 29 at the half.
Hopefully things will be a little different tonight. If you're wondering why I'm a Tarheels fan... well... let's just say that I'm not. I'm more of a guy who really... really... really... dislikes Duke. I'm just tired of seeing Duke in the Final Four every year. Since 1986, which just after I started watching college hoops, Duke has made it to the Final Four eleven times and have won four National Championships... including last year.
This year they've been at the top of the polls for most of the season... taking the #1 spot 11 out of 17 weeks. In fact, the lowest they've been ranked all season is #5 and right now they're currently 4th in the AP Top 25.
North Carolina has travelled a different path this season. They matched Duke's season loss total of three after only 7 games, but have gone 19-3 the rest of the way. The Tar Heels were ranked as high as #8 in the AP Top 25 (week 2). But by week 4, they had dropped out of the charts, which is where they stayed until week 14 when they made a reappearance in the Top 25 at the #21 spot. Since then... they've slowly worked their way up to #13... which is where they enter tonight's game.
So there you have it. #4 Duke visits #13 North Carolina with the number one seed in the ACC tournament on the line.
I've heard that in all of sports... home court/field advantage is especially true in college basketball. Well... I sure hope so for the Tar Heels sake. But just in case... here's a little Carolina Mojo to help them out:
(#9 Pick in the 1994 NBA Draft)
(#3 Pick in the 1995 NBA Draft)
(#4 Pick in the 1998 NBA Draft)
(#5 Pick in the 1998 NBA Draft)
(#5 Pick in the 2005 NBA Draft)
(#13 Pick in the 2005 NBA Draft)
I apologize if you were waiting in anticipation for a Michael Jordan autograph... or even a James Worthy... nope... too rich for my blood. I've got my fingers crossed that these six guys are enough to take down the mighty Blue Devils.
So who do you have tonight? Duke or UNC?
I'm locked in with Roy Williams and the Tar Heels. I think the Duke will go further in the NCAA Tournament... but tonight it's all UNC.
Hope everyone is enjoying their weekend... Sayonara!