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Thursday, November 13, 2008

Just when you thought you had 90 days, 11 hours, 22 minutes and 32...31...30 seconds to avoid the Duke/Carolina hype

The fine folks at Awful Announcing noticed this while perusing the CBS Sportsline college basketball page: A counter ticking off the seconds until UNC faces Duke in Cameron:

And you thought only ESPN did this kind of stuff?

Welcome to the world of college basketball coverage in the 21st century: where only two teams matter. All the other games in the conference and the country are merely a backdrop for the two, three or possibly even four times these two teams face each other.

Memo to the execs at CBS...don't follow suit with how ESPN approaches things. There are tons of other great teams out there deserving of attention and you would be better served focusing on those stories instead of subtly hyping ONE game THREE MONTHS AWAY.

Is it any wonder that Carolina just signed five players, regarded as the best recruiting class in college basketball? Or that Duke is right there with them in inking talent? When the media marginalizes every team not named "Duke" or "Carolina" in this fashion, it sends a message to recruits across the country that these are the only two programs worth a damn. And the nature of college sports being what they are, relying so heavily on recruiting, it's a self-fulfilling prophecy that Duke and Carolina are always raking in talent. More talent, more wins, more exposure, more talent...rinse and repeat.

Sour grapes, blah blah blah...perhaps it's some of that. But the underlying message is still the same no matter whom you root for: If it's not Duke or Carolina, it doesn't matter.


  1. all the coverage and hype the game gets is over the top...but I have to admit these games are very entertaining to watch...until the end when one of these schools has to win! I wish the pack had such an intense rival

  2. They tend to be very entertaining, but that's beside the point.

    20 years ago, when Duke was just beginning its climb to power and State was still a legit player in the ACC, State versus Carolina was the big rivalry in the ACC.

    State's self-inflicted demise + Duke's rise + the explosion of cable sports coverage = Quote-unquote "The Greatest Rivalry in College Sports," despite the fact that a very small percentage of folks within the borders of N.C. care for Duke. North Carolina, no matter how poor State is or how great Duke is, will always be divided primarily between State fans and Carolina fans. Not to say there aren't ANY Duke fans out there, but after 20+ years of success, wouldn't you think that there would be far more Duke fans in North Carolina than there are?

    The conspicuous absence of Duke fans in the state means that while Duke/Carolina has been turned into a national rivalry, State/Carolina will always have more direct impact on the fanbases within NC.

  3. problem is Carolina fans don't want to admit it...nothing pissed me off more than going to class the day after loosing to those tools and having to walk through a carolina blue free expression tunnel "with too bad to be our rival" quotes...but the fact that they show up to paint the tunnel shows how big of a game it really is to them