Anti-Duke Manifesto-The Complete Hate

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Like the sports writers, Dick and Mike take a head in the sand approach to Dukes many negatives. They teamed up, for example, in calling the Duke-Boston College game this year. In that game, Duke received 37 free throw attempts to BCs 13. The stat appeared briefly on screen during the closing moments of the game. Patrick began to address the numbers by remarking how it is frequently said that Duke makes more free throws than its opponents attempt. Vitale promptly cut-in and explained, ‘Thats because Duke takes it to you,’ as if aggressive play explains why a team is whistled for fewer fouls than its opponent.

Exactly two weeks later, Patrick called the UNC-Georgia Tech game in Chapel Hill. In that game, Tech built a big first half lead. UNC came back, primarily by pounding the ball inside to its star low post player Tyler Hansbrough. Tech accumulated a high foul count as it attempted unsuccessfully to stop Hansbrough with physical interior play. Near games end, a free throw attempt stat appeared showing a 31 19 advantage for Carolina. From this, Patrick explained how Paul Hewitt, Techs coach, seemed to have a legitimate beef about the discrepancy. Earlier in the game, Patrick described the free throw disparity as ‘astounding.’ Any objective commentator would have added something to the effect of, ‘Its not quite what we saw in the Duke-BC game two weeks ago,’ but Patrick never even thought of it.

And yet Patrick managed to outdo himself a few weeks later as Duke was losing in its rematch to FSU. In that game, the unthinkable occurred as FSU actually enjoyed a significant advantage in free throws. Midway through the second half, Patrick, with resentment dripping from every word, noted that Duke has been called for ’so many more fouls’ than FSU that it was a good point at which to address the growing complaints of an officials conspiracy. Immediately, Vitale chimed in as the two emphatically berated the absurdity of this complaint. In their combined minds, this single game was enough to balance the scales and to eliminate any suspicions as to how Duke constantly accumulates prodigious foul advantages over the course of a season.