Every year the Duke-North Carolina rivalry takes on a whole new meaning, this year, like so many years, the ACC regular season title hanging in the balance.
Did head coach Mike Krzyzewski lose earlier road games on purpose, so that the game between the Tobacco Road rivals would have more drama?
Think about it, there were many celebrities courtside, Peyton & Eli Manning and Matthew McConaughey, just to name a few.
Well in order to make this a game of winner take all, Duke had to lose two games in the conference to have an identical record as arch rival North Carolina.
In the beginning of the season Coach K had his Blue Devils playing their best basketball in two years. They were No. 2 in the country and alone atop the ACC standings. Meanwhile, eight miles away the Tar Heels’ story was a little different.
They needed overtime to win a few games and had a couple close calls, winning games by one or two points.
Then came the first match up between the Devils and the Heels, UNC was without their starting point guard Ty Lawson and Duke was able to build a good lead and sustain it with key three pointers. After that loss, Carolina was two games behind their enemy in the conference.
Two weeks later Duke lost consecutive road games to Wake Forest and Miami, leaving UNC and Duke tied at the top. The losses made it almost seem as if they wanted to play Carolina with the conference on the line. Why else would they lose those seemingly easy games?
Then the plan backfired on Coach K and the Devils as they lost their momentum and it somehow traveled eight miles down the road into Chapel Hill. It all culminated Saturday night when the Heels won a tough road game in front of a hostile crowd.
I love a good conspiracy theory as much as the next person…what do you think?