Duke vs. Michigan: Blue Devils Win, But 12 Reasons Michigan Is Still Superior
No. 1 seed Duke eked out a narrow 73-71 victory over eight-seed Michigan on Sunday in the third round of the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament in Charlotte.
Nolan Smith led a second-half Blue Devils surge with 24 points as coach Mike Krzyzewski earned his 900th career win and the Blue Devils advanced to their 12th Sweet 16 in the last 14 years. Michigan, meanwhile, goes home after a solid postseason run under coach John Beilein.
Sure, Kyle Singler added 13 points for the Blue Devils, who dominated the Wolverines on the glass, out-rebounding them 31-18. Sure, Michigan was unable to exact revenge for the Fab Five and their NCAA Tournament Final loss back in 1992.
But there are still plenty of ways in which the University of Michigan is vastly superior to Duke.
Don't believe me? Let us count the ways.
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images
Sure, the brightness of the Wolverines' away uniforms are over the top to some viewers. But the maize and blue are fun, eye-catching, interesting and classic.
Duke's blue and black are lame.
It's settled. Michigan's uniforms are superior.
A wolverine is a stocky and muscular carnivore, more closely resembling a small bear than other mustelids. The wolverine has a reputation for ferocity and strength out of proportion to its size, with the documented ability to kill prey many times its size (Thank you, Wikipedia.).
A blue devil is....Well, Eryngium pinnatifidum (Blue Devils) is a plant species in the family Apiales which is endemic to the southwest of Western Australia. It grows up to 50 centimeters in height and produces blue or white flowers between August and November (late winter to late spring) in its native range.
I think we know who rules in this category.
Better Recent Documentary Made
The Fab Five, an ESPN documentary directed by Jason Hehir on the Wolverines' remarkable 1991 recruiting class of Chris Webber, Jalen Rosen, Juwan Howard, Jimmy King and Ray Jackson, has made waves in the sporting community this past week for Rose's controversial comments on Duke's African-American players.
Whatever your thoughts on Rose's comments, it's a startling and entertaining piece that looks back on one of the more interesting stories in recent college hoops history.
Duke has this straight-to-DVD film, titled A Cut Above: 100 Seasons of Duke Basketball.
Better Success in the NBA
Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images
Between Cazzie Russell, Glen Rice, Rickey Green, Juwan Howard and Chris Webber, there have been plenty of NBA stars who played their college ball in Ann Arbor.
Duke's Grant Hill and Carlos Boozer have both had excellent NBA careers, but name me another school that has graduated as many NBA busts as Duke: Christian Laettner, Bobby Hurley, Jay Williams, Trajan Langdon, Cherokee Parks, Corey Maggette, Shelden Williams and on and on.
And say what you want about Duke—with Laettner and Hurley—beating the Fab Five in the 1992 Final Four, but according to a tweet from Darren Rovell, the '91-'92 Duke basketball team went on to make $225.4 million in the NBA. The '91-'92 Michigan team earned $431.4 million.
Better Fight Song
Michigan has the best fight song in all of college sports: The Victors.
Duke has—wait, does Duke have a fight song?
Better Football Team
Rick Dole/Getty Images
The Wolverines are 884-308-36 all time and have the most all-time wins and the highest winning percentage in college football history.
The Blue Devils are 455-476-31 in their history and have played in eight bowl games. Michigan played in 10 bowl games during the 1990s.
Say what you will about the Rich Rodriguez years, but Michigan football is a bazillion times better than Duke football.
Better Hockey Team
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images
Michigan has one of the most successful college hockey programs in the country, winning nine NCAA Championships and appearing in 23 NCAA Tournament Frozen Fours.
Duke has no hockey team.
Better Softball Team
As of March 20, Michigan softball is 29-2 and ranked sixth in the country. The Wolverines won the national championship in 2005.
Duke has a club softball team. They're 2-7 so far this season.
More Olympic Medals
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images
Michigan athletes have won 138 Olympic medals since 1900 in sports that include fencing, gymnastics, kayaking and swimming.
Duke athletes have won 20.
The edge goes to Michael Phelps and his fellow Wolverines.
Better Sports Journalists
Who has the better sports journalists among their alumni?
Michigan has Bert Sugar (legendary boxing writer), Rich Eisen (NFL Network), Dana Jacobson (ESPN), Dan Dierdorf (ABC/CBS NFL commentator) and Tracy Wolfson (pictured above).
Duke has CBS' smarmy Seth Davis and the talented, yet jerky John Feinstein.
The advantage goes to Wolfson and her Cammy Cam juice.
Better U.S. Presidential Affiliation
Richard Nixon went to law school at Duke.
Gerald Ford did his undergrad and played football at Michigan.
Edge: Michigan, by a landslide.
Far Fewer D'Bags Per Capita
Kyle Singler plays for Duke, not Michigan.
Miles Plumlee plays for Duke, not Michigan.
Bobby Hurley played for Duke, not Michigan.
Christian Laettner played for Duke, not Michigan.
Good college basketball players. But d'bags, all of them.
Michigan: The Leaders and Best
So fret not, Michigan fans.
We may have suffered a tough loss at the hands of one of our bigger basketball rivals on Sunday, but there is still much to feel good about.
We may have fallen to Duke on the basketball court yet again, but we still reign supreme in many equally important categories.
Keep the faith, and go blue!