The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Thursday January 20th

Pit Talk

What it's like to experience the UNC-Duke rivalry for the first time

I don't come from a UNC family. I grew up watching Notre Dame football and as a result, I was 'trained' so to speak, to hate Michigan and USC (Southern California.) 

Before coming here, I honestly did not give a rat's behind about the UNC-Duke rivalry or men's basketball.

Boy oh boy has that changed.

Having been here for a little more than a semester, I've learned a lot about what it means to be a Tar Heel, and that the number one rule about loving UNC means despising d00k. I've also learned that the proper way to spell "Duke" is "d00k". 

Tomorrow night will be the very first time that I watch UNC and Duke play basketball and I am very excited. 

In preparation, I've taken to watching YouTube videos about the best rivalry moments. I now understand why people get fired up about Tyler Hansbrough bleeding:   

(I am aware that this video is over five minutes long, but it will get you fired up for tomorrow.) 

I also now understand why people make jokes about wether or not Duke will show up tomorrow. I understand why "Hark the Sound" ends with a few choice words about that other school. 

Quite frankly it's my favorite part about the whole thing and I love it. I know what the acronym "GTHD" means. 

I still don't quite understand why the rivalry is referred to as the Tobacco Road rivalry but I'm sure I'll understand eventually. 

This rivalry isn't something you really understand until you're right in the middle of it. 

What I love more than that is the fact that nothing bonds the student body together quite like hatred for Duke, and I cannot wait to see that impassioned hatred on Franklin Street tomorrow night. 

At the end of the day, we all know that Carolina Blue is the better blue, and that win or lose, we are still glad that we're Tar Heels and not Blue Devils.


To get the day's news and headlines in your inbox each morning, sign up for our email newsletters.


The Daily Tar Heel for December 1, 2021

Special Print Edition

Games & Horoscopes

Print Edition Games Archive