The 2009-2010 NCAA basketball season could bring about a rejuvination of the battle on tobacco road.
As if the rivalry has ever calmed down, but no longer does North Carolina bring Tyler Hansbrough and crew with them. Hansbrough has been the target of many insults from the Cameron crazies over the past four seasons, rightfully so as Tyler Hansbrough never experienced a loss at Duke.
Also gone is Duke star Gerald Henderson, who drew the most hatred from the UNC fans for his famous altercation with Tyler Hansbrough, where a questionable elbow broke Hansbrough's nose.
For the first time in several years there is no clear-cut dominate team between the two. If there's an edge at all it could go to Duke.
North Carolina Preview
North Carolina will be the reigning national champion, but with four of its starting five now in the NBA that leaves plenty of questions for where the production will come from.
Roy Williams once again rebounds with an impressive recruiting class, but until the talent is proven at the collegiate level Roy's boys will have some stat sheets to fill up. Forward John Henson and guard Dexter Strickland have all the rite attributes to be very solid pieces on this North Carolina team.
North Carolina returns senior forward Deon Thompson who has always played in the shadow of Hansbrough, but will need to take on more of a leadership role this season for the young Tar Heels.
Sophomore sensation Ed Davis will return for what many think will be a break-out year. He's a dominate defensive presence and began to came on strong offensively in the NCAA tournament.
Duke returns as the reigning ACC tournament champion, and unlike North Carolina, will begin the season with more proven positions in it's starting lineup.
Kyle Singler is potentially one of the best players in the nation, and John Scheyer has proven he can run the point guard position for the Blue Devils.
Duke will have a few explosive freshman on its roster this year as well. Mason Plumlee will give Duke a post presence that it has been lacking in recent years, and Andre Dawkins gives Coach K another explosive gaurd to fill the void left behind by Gerald Henderson.
Duke is hoping to regain the upperhand in the rivalry and stop the four-year-win streak for North Carolina at Cameron Indoor.
2009-2010, an exciting season awaits
North Carolina and Duke are both stacked and poised to make runs for the top of the ACC and even solid runs into March.
But for fans of both teams it will be an exciting season for the rivalry, as both sides get to experience a lot of new faces and will find out who their future stars will be.
They will meet in Chapel Hill first on February 10, and they will close the season meeting at Duke, on senior night, on March 6.
North Carolina will begin the season at No. 6 on the ESPN/USA Today poll, with Duke not far behind at No. 8.
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