Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Top 5 Duke wins over North Carolina

Since their first meeting on Jan. 24, 1920, Duke and North Carolina have played 225 basketball games against each other, with the Tar Heels holding a 128-97 advantage. With meeting No. 226 set for Wednesday night, Observer staff writer Ron Green Jr. ranks the five biggest Duke wins in the contentious series:

5. Duke 66, North Carolina 65 (OT), Feb. 28, 1981, Cameron Indoor Stadium

Gene Banks always had a flair for the dramatic and his Cameron finale was no exception. Before the game, Banks tossed roses to the crowd upon being introduced then delivered a 25-point performance that took down No. 11 North Carolina. Banks hit an 18-foot with one second remaining to force overtime then won the game with an offensive rebound with 16 seconds remaining.

4. Duke 47, North Carolina 40, Feb. 24, 1979, Cameron Indoor Stadium

It is best remembered as the game when fourth-ranked North Carolina went scoreless in the first half, trailing sixth-ranked Duke 7-0 at the break after electing to not to force the action against the Blue Devils’ zone defense. The Tar Heels’ first-half offense consisted of two air balls. In his final home game, Duke’s Jim Spanarkel went out with 17 points.

3. Duke 95, North Carolina 81, March 4, 2001, Smith Center

Only days after losing center Carlos Boozer to a broken bone in his foot, the second-ranked Blue Devils weren’t expected to be able to handle the fourth-ranked Tar Heels. Instead, Jason Williams scored 33 points and Shane Battier had 25 points, 11 rebounds, five assists and four steals as the Blue Devils turned in a season-altering performance. It began a 10-game winning streak that culminated with the national championship.

2. Duke 77, North Carolina 75, March 10, 1984, ACC Tournament

One year earlier, Duke had lost to Virginia by 43 points in the ACC and Mike Krzyzewski’s future was in doubt. After two regular-season losses to the Tar Heels, including a double-overtime loss in Chapel Hill one week earlier, the Blue Devils beat No. 1 North Carolina in the ACC tournament semifinals, just the Tar Heels’ second loss. As much as any game, it announced the arrival of Krzyzewski and the Blue Devils on the national scene.

1. Duke 77, North Carolina 75, Feb. 28, 1998, Cameron Indoor Stadium

The Blue Devils were ranked No. 1 and the Tar Heels No. 3 when they met for the 200th time. North Carolina had won nine of the previous 10 meetings, including a 24-point win earlier in the season at Chapel Hill and it seemed like more of the same when the Tar Heels led 64-47 with 11:39 remaining. With point guard Steve Wojciechowski setting the tone, Duke stormed from behind. When Roshown McLeod hit a short jumper with one minute remaining, Duke took its first and only lead of the game and held on to win. It was coach Mike Krzyzewski’s 500th coaching victory. “Pretty good,” Krzyzewski said afterward.

Coming Wednesday: Ron Green Jr. ranks his top five North Carolina wins over Duke.


Have another Duke victory over North Carolina you think belongs on the list, or even your own top five? Post your thoughts in the comments section below.


Anonymous said...

duke sucks. get a better topic.

Travis Tate said...

don't you think its funny that the best games listed in this article are all duke victories? how about the 2nd meeting in 2005 at chapel hill where sean may dropped 26 pts and 24 rebs, the heels followed a 10-0 duke run with a 10-run of their own to win the game in the closing seconds???

Anonymous said...

Coming Wednesday: Ron Green Jr. ranks his top five North Carolina wins over Duke.

Can you read travis tate? This was an article about the best "Duke" victories, the UNC victories will come on wed

Anonymous said...

I'm a Carolina fan, and all of these were heart-breaking losses. But Duke and Carolina have been playing for a long time. I think this list would be better titled as the 5 best Duke wins since Coach Foster and Coach K revived the Duke program.

WINE & CHEESE said...

Lets Go Tarholes

Anonymous said...


Man, I can't STAND looking at that UGLY BABBY BLUE....ugh....TAR HOLES....

LSU Journalist said...

Hey travis Tate, the article is entitled, "Top 5 Duke Wins over North Carolina" not "best UNC vs. Duke games Ever!" Obviously your too quick to rip Duke and the column. Typical.