Duke-North Carolina: An Unpredictable Rivalry

Drew SechlerContributor IFebruary 10, 2010

DETROIT - APRIL 06:  Deon Thompson #21 of the North Carolina Tar Heels reacts while taking on the Michigan State Spartans during the 2009 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball National Championship game at Ford Field on April 6, 2009 in Detroit, Michigan.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Well Tar Heel and Blue Devil fans alike, it's game day! But as a Tar Heel supporter, why am I not "as pumped" as usual? Oh yes that's right, my team sports a 13-10 record overall and a 2-6 disappointment in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

But why am I still excited? Well any knowledgeable sports fan or local ACC connoisseur will tell you that no matter what the record is of either Duke or UNC, this game is still special and this game still means everything.

Following a 2009 national championship year, every UNC fan was expecting success in 2010. The problem is this team hasn't experienced the kind of success that UNC fans expected. No, UNC fans didn't expect another national championship by any means, but what is happening currently with this year's team is not what any could have imagined.

UNC has struggled with consistency, shot-making ability, perimeter defense and just to be quite honest and simple, winning ballgames. This team just hasn't come to fruition for whatever reason it may be. The talent is there, although some of it is inexperienced talent, talent is talent, and that talent is not performing up to par with the competition. 

But back to the Duke game. Many Duke fans seem to think that they won't have a problem with the Tar Heels. And quite frankly, I don't blame them for thinking this way. The way Carolina has performed lately is less than stellar. The Heels lost a tough battle with Virginia Tech, and got snowballed in the second half of a blowout loss to Maryland on Super Bowl Sunday.

Duke fans have every reason to believe they will steamroll the Tar Heels right out of the Dean E. Smith Center on Wednesday night in Chapel Hill. But if this rivalry's past games are any indication, we don't know what will happen.

The Tar Heels will most certainly be pumped up for their arch rivals and Tar Heel Nation will obviously be behind them in full force. But will any of this matter? I mean, after all, this game is played on paper, right? No.

That is my point exactly—this game is not played on paper and UNC is certainly capable of upsetting the league leading Dukies. This UNC team is due to come out of its sorry shell that they've been in for the last several weeks, but will it be Wednesday? Who knows.

All I know is that Carolina is playing that team from eight miles down the road Wednesday night. So folks, just when you think you know what's going to happen, you really don't, because after all there's nothing like Carolina-Duke.