Updates from Thursday, Feb. 13
A day after Duke-North Carolina was postponed, the two teams have agreed upon a makeup date and time according to Duke basketball's Twitter account:
One of the greatest rivalries in college sports is the heated battle between powerhouse basketball programs Duke and North Carolina. Unfortunately, inclement weather will postpone Wednesday's scheduled edition of the Tobacco Road rivalry between the Blue Devils and Tar Heels at Chapel Hill's Dean E. Smith Center.
Tonight’s Duke-UNC game has officially been postponed because of weather, a source told @CBSSports. Story updating now.— Gary Parrish (@GaryParrishCBS) February 12, 2014
Mark Armstrong of ABC 11 in Raleigh initially reported that the game was called off, citing a Duke staffer with knowledge of the situation before the Atlantic Coast Conference approved the postponement:
From Duke staffer: 'Done deal' that game is off for tonight. Waiting for ACC approval.— Mark Armstrong (@ArmstrongABC11) February 12, 2014
UNC Basketball's official Twitter account confirmed the postponement and mentioned that no makeup date had been announced:
UNC-Duke game for tonight has been postponed due to weather. No makeup date announced. #UNCBBall— Carolina Basketball (@UNC_Basketball) February 12, 2014
The InsideCarolina Twitter feed later provided a makeup date:
Makeup date announced: UNC-Duke will play on Feb 20— InsideCarolina (@InsideCarolina) February 12, 2014
UNC director of athletics Bubba Cunningham released an official statement through GoHeels.com:
Duke's bus is not able to get to their campus to pick up the team in time to be able to make the trip to Chapel Hill so we can't play this evening. The safety of the teams and officials is the number one priority and this was the best decision to make at this time. Coach Williams, Coach Krzyzewski, (Duke AD) Kevin White and I will be on the phone with the ACC and make a decision as to when to play the game as soon as possible.
Luke DeCock of the News & Observer reported what Cunningham had to say on the matter before the game was postponed on Wednesday.
“ACC policy states that we should play the game if the teams, officials and games operations staff can safely get to the arena,” the athletic director said in a statement. “As of right now, we believe that those critical personnel will be able to get here.”
Evidently the conditions weren't safe enough to put the game on. The Chapel Hill Police Department warned against drivers testing the roads and captured an image of the road conditions:
Please don't leave home unless you have to. MLK and many other roads look like this. pic.twitter.com/epUVzzvt7n— Chapel Hill Police (@ChapelHillPD) February 12, 2014
Even though the Blue Devils (19-5, 8-3 in the ACC) are ranked eighth at the moment in the Associated Press Top 25 poll and North Carolina is unranked, there was no shortage of excitement and anticipation for this game. The Tar Heels have overcome some early-season struggles in winning their last five games to improve to 16-7 overall and 6-4 in the conference.
Playing spoiler is always fun, but UNC had some legitimate momentum to fuel its bid to upset Duke at home. Although the Tar Heels will have to wait for this highly anticipated game, it's for the best considering the safety hazards presented by the weather.
While fans will undoubtedly be disappointed that this battle won't take place, the postponement will only build the suspense for the rivalry game.
Right now, both teams are playing at a high level and the game would have been a stern test for both teams. All there is to do is wait, which may not be a bad thing since the season's remaining contests will only become more significant as the NCAA tournament approaches.