Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Duke V. North Carolina, in the Battle of Who Could Care Less

It's Duke-North Carolina night, and while I'm sure ESPN is promoting the hell out of it (I don't really know, since I don't get the channel), but all the match-up does for me is produce an audible "Meh."  (Apparently agrees, since there is nary a mention of this famed and storied rivalry on their front page as of 12:45 PM Wednesday.) 

When's the last time this game actually mattered?  Going by rankings in the main polls, 2009, when Duke lost twice to North Carolina but both teams were firmly in the top 10.  I'd argue, however, that it didn't really matter that year because the Tar Heels were a juggernaut, as they soon proved in the NCAA tournament.  In 2008, #2 Duke beat #3 UNC in Chapel Hill, but I wonder how much that result really meant considering #1 UNC beat #5 Duke in Durham a little over a month later.

More importantly, I don't think any ACC game matters this season.  The ACC is garbage, with Duke and the late-charging Tar Heels looking like the only teams capable of doing anything in March.  While it is nice to have two very good teams in a conference, the same thing can be said about BYU and San Diego State in the Mountain West, and those teams are hounded by UNLV and New Mexico while Duke and UNC feast on the likes of mediocre squads such as Maryland and Florida State.

Is this sour grapes from a bitter cynic absolutely exhausted by Duke-UNC coverage, who's first college basketball experience was heartbreak watching that douche Christian Laettner knock Kentucky out of the tourney with a lucky shot, who's roommate at Kent State constantly sang Petey Pablo whenever the Tyler Hansborough was on the TV screen, and who hates Roy Williams and Coach K with equal vitriol?  Perhaps.        

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