Anti-Duke Manifesto-The Complete Hate

19 of 30

Because they are so lost in their love for Duke, Vitale and Patrick regularly personify the hypocrisy that is Duke basketball. Just look at their treatment of the free throw discrepancy issue. Better yet, consider Vitales comments during Dukes home loss to UNC on senior night. The man actually credited Duke with overachieving this season. The exact quote was that ‘They have rode (sic) the coattails of two star players,’ and gone on to accomplish far more than could be expected. It was a bizarre statement from the same man who, immediately after UNC won the title in April of 2005, announced that ‘the Dukies will be cutting down the nets in Indy next year.’ In that same game in which Vitale stated that verbal and physical abuse has no place in college athletics, Sean Dockery shoved Tyler Hansbrough in the face during a dead ball. ESPNs own replay showed this clear basis for a technical foul and player ejection, neither of which occurred. Vitale said nothing about it.

Again, it is this shameless double-standard that causes us to hate Duke.

– Chapter Four — Bias of Game Officials

The media bias, while annoying to be sure, pales in comparison, and significance, to that of the game’s officials. For the sake of clarity, I do not, nor have I ever, contended that there is some deliberate conspiracy at work here. There is, however, an undeniable bias in favor of Duke amongst the media and the NCAA. This bias is perpetuated and exacerbated by the media and combines with Mike Krzyzewskis uncontrolled bullying of game officials to generate truly insane consequences.

A. Mind-boggling free throw disparities.

By now, most have heard how Duke’s basketball team has enjoyed seasons where its players convert more free throws than their opponents attempt. Admittedly, this fact, standing alone, is not necessarily cause for criticism, as smaller and lesser talented teams are more likely to foul their bigger, quicker, more talented adversaries.

In Duke’s case, however, the actual numbers, when viewed in appropriate context, are staggering. In 2000-01, the last championship season, Duke actually attempted 1,002 free throws, compared to its opponents’ 701 attempts. Think about that statistic for a moment – over one thousand free throws. During that season, Duke players were assessed with 659 fouls; the opposition, 848. The year before, Duke converted on 618 free throws, 81 more than its opponents attempted. (For the doubting reader, the Duke Basketball Report website published all of these season statistics in 2005 though, for some reason, the statistics were removed after the first dissemination of this writing.)

Certainly, these statistics are themselves absurd, but the issue becomes inexplicable when one considers the team’s traditionally aggressive approach to the game. Krzyzewski, remember, shuns the zone defense, insisting instead that his players confront even superior athletes with his signature, hard-nosed man-to-man. By its nature, man-to-man is a more physical defensive style, one that Duke players execute with bloodhound intensity. Usually, man-to-man defense generates a higher foul count than the more passive zone alternatives, but somehow not for Duke. Instead, Duke players routinely waltz to the charity stripe at twice the rate of their opponents, all while hacking, slapping, and hand-checking opponents up and down the court.