Duke had released a portion of its schedule for he upcoming 2012-2013 basketball season and for fans of the traditional Tobacco Road rivalries there is some good news.
Duke fans will be treated to home and away games against both NC State and arch rival North Carolina for the first time since the 2010-2011 season. And while that may not seem like such a long time ago, it wasn’t hat long ago when those three schools played each other at least twice every years.
But as the push for conference realignment and expansion spreads out so does the time between when Duke gets to face off against its natural rivals more than once a year, North Carolina being he obvious exception. However, at the current rate of expansion I wouldn’t be shocked if Duke and North Carolina end up playing on one time per year.
Now that is obviously a worse case scenario and would probably require a lot more expansion before he ACC would allow it most viewed basketball series to drop from twice a year to only once, but as long as conference expansion keeps on coming that possibility become more realistic each and every year.
This season, the last before Syracuse and Pitt are scheduled to join the conference, Duke will play NC State and North Carolina twice and Wake Forest once. Those four schools were the heart of the original ACC and now that football is taking over the entire landscape of college sports and causing basketball to suffer as a result.
College sports use to be about rivalries and tradition and it has sadly become more about the all mighty dollar and the natural rivalries are losing out in the long run.
Duke fans may want to enjoy this season because who knows how long it could be before Duke plays NC State and North Carolina in the same year for a while, especially if expansion keeps adding teams to the ACC.
The Blue Devils will have a challenging schedule next season that will feature a matchup with defending National Champions, Kentucky, Ohio State and potential matchups with Louisville, Missouri, Memphis, VCU or Stanford in the Battle for Atlantis Tournament.
And while time passes on and changes inevitably come with time, there are moments when fans long for the old ways and it seems that for now, things are moving further and further away from those old ways so we best enjoy them while we can.