Many of the best moments for the Duke basketball program involve victories over North Carolina.
Beating the Tar Heels in Cameron Indoor Stadium is always great, but there is something extra special about knocking off UNC in Chapel Hill. To send the Tar Heel faithful home with a disappointing loss is always one of the best parts of this rivalry.
Hopefully, we’ll get to see it happen again tonight.
In honor of tonight’s game, I decided to pull together a collection of my favorite memories of Duke in Chapel Hill.
Watching Duke win on any court is fun. Watching them win in the Dean Dome is especially fun.
The following are my favorite moments of the Blue Devils in Chapel Hill.
February 3, 2000 – Duke: 90 UNC: 86 (Overtime)
Duke let a 19-point second half lead get away, but managed to escape with an overtime victory over an unranked North Carolina team. I remember Chris Carrawell taking over for the Blue Devils down the stretch, as he played 44 minutes and had 23 points. It was also a huge game for Shane Battier, who scored 25 points and grabbed 10 rebounds.
February 5, 2004 – Duke: 83 UNC: 81
This was one of the great games in the history of the rivalry between two squads that featured an incredible collection of talent. It was a back-and-forth battle and it looked like the Heels might pull away after a Rashad McCants dunk gave them a 69-62 lead to play, but Duke wouldn’t be denied. The Blue Devils reeled off a 10-0 run to take the lead, which set the stage for a dramatic finish. Jawad Williams hit a huge three for UNC to send the game to overtime, and then Rashad McCants hit another big three to tie the game, which looked like it might force a second overtime. Fortunately, Chris Duhon pushed the ball after the made basket and found a lane to the rim, making a layup that gave Duke the victory.
February 7, 2006 – Duke: 87 UNC: 83
J.J. Redick was as cold-blooded as they come during his final trip to the Dean Dome as a Blue Devil. It was a night when the sharpshooter was in one of his infamous zones and North Carolina simply had no answer for him. He scored 35 points on 12-of-22 shooting and also picked up four big steals. Redick’s step-back three-point dagger with a minute to play is one of my all-time favorite shots.
February 8, 2012 – Duke: 85 UNC: 84
This is up there with the 2001 game at Maryland as one of the most improbable comebacks I’ve ever seen. UNC had one of the most talented teams in the country and a 10-point lead with less than three minutes to play. Although I had given up, the Blue Devils never did. Tyler Thornton sparked the comeback with a three-pointer, Tyler Zeller made some plays he’d rather forget, and Austin Rivers cemented his spot in the legacy of this great rivalry.
March 4, 2001 – Duke: 95 UNC: 81
If there’s ever been one play that propelled a team to a national championship, I think we saw it with Shane Battier’s block of Joseph Forte in the second half of this game. The Blue Devils had just lost Carlos Boozer to a foot injury in the previous game (a loss to Maryland) and it looked like their hopes for a run to a championship were gone with him. Battier’s unbelievable block sparked a run for the rest of his team to run away from the Heels, and they continued to run all the way to a title. It was a play the perfectly captured the leadership and determination of Shane Battier and how he wouldn’t be denied.
What are some of your favorite Duke memories from Chapel Hill? Let us know in the comments section!