If you’ve followed college basketball for any length of time, you know there are two incontrovertible truths: First, you’re not fooling anyone, UC Santa Cruz. No one knows what the heck a banana slug is. And second, Duke is the most hated team in the sport—maybe in any sport.
MSNBC did a poll back in 2005 about the most loathed team in basketball, and the Blue Devils came out on top with 53 percent. Think about that for a second. There are 342 schools playing Division I roundball, and for a single school to garner more than half the votes is downright astonishing. Fidel Castro used to win Cuban “elections” by smaller margins.
But it makes sense. Duke is like the Darth Vader, or more accurately, the Citigroup, of the NCAA. Unless you went to or are affiliated with Duke, you don’t like Duke. It’s as simple as that.
There are so many reasons to despise the Blue Devils, you could fill a book. And we* have done just that. Duke Sucks: A Completely Even-Handed, Unbiased Investigation Into the Most Evil Team on Planet Earth is available now, and it builds a pretty damning case against those guys in Durham, if we do say so ourselves.
The bottom line is that people hate Duke because Duke deserves to be hated; from the flopping, to the obnoxious fans, to the players under-performing in the NBA. It’s all in there, along with other fascinating stuff, like stats proving Duke big men (the most worthless thing this side of a male nipple) actually get worse playing for the school, and a hard-hitting investigation into whether Coach K dyes his hair.
But the really wonderful thing about being a Duke hater is, it’s the hobby that keeps on giving. Most schools could only manage to do something truly awful once every other season, tops. We’re talking something that makes you cover your face with your hands and mutter, “God, these a-holes,” under your breath. Duke does something every week. Every. Single. Week.
I mean, have you seen this video?
We’ll let its terribleness speak for itself, except to say that it was commissioned and paid for by the university. Duke: the only school that has to produce its own fan-made videos. Someone put that on a bumper sticker.
The point is, even without reaching into the past and bringing up Wojo or “The Stomp” or Coach K’s penchant for threatening to jump to the pros when he wants a raise or all that other really awful stuff, there are still reasons to hate Duke right this second. Many, many reasons. In the interest of brevity, here are six.
*Tucker co-authored the book with Andy Bagwell. Tucker is a staff features writer at the New York Post. He lives in Brooklyn, New York. Bagwell is a former member of Selected Hilarity, one of the top college comedy acts in the nation. He lives in Cary, North Carolina. The two host the “Tar Heel Bred, Tar Heel Dead” podcast, an obsessive, occasionally humorous look at UNC basketball.