Sports Geek — Carolina v. Duke who to cheer for (or against)

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We’ve all heard the description of this basketball rivalry.  Two teams who in recent years seem to stay at the top of the college basketball pack live a mere 9 miles apart and is considered to be the best rivalry in all of college basketball.  They play each other twice during the year with a potential 3rd meeting in the ACC playoffs and a possible 4th run-in during the NCAA championship.

Explain this?

North Carolina is your classic Bible Belt state. So why do we have Blue Devils? Demon Deacons? Even Cary’s High school and middle school’s are the “Imps”. Even UNC’s mascot is a curly horned goatish beast which.

But today at the Dean Dome (Dean Smith Center named after the Evil Overlord himself — remember I’m a Kentucky fan!) the powder blue clad Tar Heels host the Blue Devils or as they are known affectionately as the “dookies”.   Today’s game will determine who wins the ACC regular season title.  This title doesn’t mean much other than seeding for the ACC tournament later this week.

In an interesting twist, because of the ACC’s quest to be a football conference and the growth to accommodate their BCS dreams, all basketball teams do not play each other twice during the season.  This has created some very interesting scenarios for the sports geek to ponder with the ACC Tie breaking system.

If UNC wins today, they win out right, two games head of Duke.  Duke is a game behind UNC going into today’s contest and if Duke wins, they will be tied since they have split their head-to-head match ups.  The tie breaking scheme is basically one of looking at head-to-head match-ups until one of the teams has an advantage.

The process is complex and given that I don’t give a squat about the ACC or its member teams, I’m not going to delve into it any further than saying today’s game should be a good one with the title on the line. If you’re interested in more details go see this forum post.

Now Kentucky has struggled and as much as I like Billy Gillespie, the coach, they are on the outside looking in at the moment and may not make the NCAA tournament.   If I were writing the contract for the coach as Kentucky, this would be a reason to fire clause.  The other two are never loose to Tennessee or Vanderbilt.  But I’m not the AD, so I don’t get my say in these matters.

At the end of the day, UNC will probably gain another 4-6 wins on Kentucky before the season is out, halving the lead the Wildcats have.    Therefore I need Duke to win today.

So why for the life of me, when I went to get a glass for ice water this morning and I was looking at a plastic cup did I make the conscious decision to choose a baby blue cup from a UNC game over one from a Carolina Hurricanes game?

Am I loosing it?  Could I actually start liking UNC?  Or is it a case that I really loath Duke and UNC is the lesser of the two evils?  Why am I so tortured by this? I swore when I moved to NC that I would not become a NASCAR fan and well hell would freeze over before I ever cheered for an ACC school.

I’m going to watch NASCAR and ponder this….

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