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The Daily Tar Heel

Opinion: UNC’s rivalry with Duke makes both schools better

UNC needs Duke University like John Lennon needed Paul McCartney.

Although Duke will always be the school we love to hate, it is still important to remember, only a few days removed from the latest installment in college basketball’s greatest rivalry, the positives beyond sports that are generated by that same enmity.

For every competitive encounter between both schools on the court, there are just as many instances of collaboration that have proven beneficial not just for each institution but also for the state as a whole.

Whether it be through scholarships, like the Robertson Scholarship, or academic programs, like the philosophy, politics and economics minor, or research grants, of which there are far too many examples to name, UNC and Duke clearly benefit from cooperating off the court.

When one compares UNC to its peer public institutions — places like the University of Virginia; University of California, Los Angeles; University of California, Berkeley; and University of Michigan — it is evident that each provides a similar excellent caliber of education.

Yet, these universities lack the combination of competition and collaboration that is available to UNC’s and Duke’s faculty and students due to each school’s relationship and close proximity to the other.

UNC students might still rue the missed chances from the first UNC-Duke game of the season, but it is perhaps most fitting when the series ends in parity.

Because, snark aside, we improve each other.

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