Why Carolina Fans Hate Duke


It is the greatest rivalry in college sports that has provided fans with more memorable moments than any of us can count. Every player and coach that has been a part of this special rivalry has nothing but respect for the other, proved by Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski’s classy gesture of wearing a Carolina blue color shirt and tie to the memorial service of legendary Tar Heel coach Dean Smith.

However, the respect that exists between the programs is not shared by program’s fan bases, who hate each other daily and enjoy the other team’s misery as much as their own success. Duke basketball is hated throughout the country but nowhere is that hate stronger than Chapel Hill, NC. There are a number reasons why it is so easy to hate Duke let’s go through them…

Dick Vitale

They call him Dukie V for a reason. The news this week that Vitale would not call the Carolina/Duke game for ESPN was welcome news to the Carolina fans who have grown tired of Vitale’s suck up act towards Duke basketball. While some called it an end of era, we called it a breath of fresh air knowing we won’t have to deal with Vitale’s incessant ramblings about how great Duke basketball is. You would think he is Duke’s biggest fan or at least a part of their booster club. He constantly makes excuses for them when they play poorly and overpraises them when they play well.

In Vitale’s mind Duke should open every season as the #1 team because it’s Duke. It has gotten to a point that Vitale can be doing another game not involving Duke or any school in the ACC for that matter but will still find to a way to go on a rant about how great Duke is and how great Coach K is and how is so underpaid. Sound familiar? At some points you would think that Vitale is related to Krzyzewski or he pays his salary the way he carries on about him. It is amazing how Duke alums like Jay Bilas, Jason Williams and Seth Davis can be neutral and sometimes critical of their former school but Vitale who has absolutely no affliction with the school cannot do it.

Constantly being reminded how great they are

The media loves Duke that much is pretty obvious. Whether it is Coach K appearing in some new commercial or seeing Coach K coach Team USA it seems you can’t go anywhere without seeing Duke plastered all over your TV. You know that there will be at least 2 games of Duke on ESPN every week just like clockwork. Now we all heard the excuse Duke equals ratings and that may be true, but that does not mean you have to shove them down people’s throats and over hype their players all the time.

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  • In the late 90s and early 00s it seem like whoever was the best player on Duke would be ACC and National Player of the Year simply because they played at Duke. We know that Duke is a great program, with good players but we do not have to be reminded of that every day.

    Most of their best players grew up Carolina fans, wanting to play at UNC

    Danny Ferry was expected to go to UNC but ended up at Duke because they were hungrier in their recruitment of him. It probably also did not hurt that his assistant coach from high school, current Notre Dame coach Mike Brey ended on Coach K coaching staff a year after Ferry arrived. Bobby Hurley had followed the Tar Heels since attending a summer camp in Chapel Hill in the 7th grade and his father legendary high school coach Bob Hurley was a long time Carolina fan. But Coach Smith’s honesty would cost him Hurley when he told him New York City point guard Kenny Anderson was his top priority. Unfortunately Coach Smith would miss out on 2 of the greatest point guards in ACC history.

    Jason Williams wanted to play at Carolina but was told that there weren’t enough scholarships available by then Tar Heel coach Bill Guthridge, who then told him whatever you do, don’t go to Duke, which of course Williams did. So instead of possible 2-3 year backcourt of Williams and Joseph Forte, Williams went down the road and became national player of the year while going 3-0 in Chapel Hill.

    The Cameron Crazies and their fans

    Annoying, obnoxious and overhyped. Some people think they are the greatest fans in sports. We are not those people. The student section at Duke has long been credited with creating an intimidating atmosphere to play in with their chants and taunts sometimes border lining on rude, disrespectful and classless.

    However, how intimidating are they really? The best teams and players have always played well in Cameron. Michael Jordan never lost in Cameron in his 3 years at Carolina, Jerry Stackhouse and Rasheed Wallace won both times there including ruining Grant Hill’s Senior Day their freshman year. Of course there is a reason we call it Hansbrough Indoor Stadium as the Tar Heel legend along with Danny Green went 4-0 in their careers at Duke.  Despite being the so called “toughest road game in the ACC” Duke only holds a six game edge in games played at Cameron 46-52 while Carolina holds an 28 game edge in games played in Chapel Hill 61-33.

    Just like the Crazies the typical Duke fan is annoying, obnoxious, difficult to be around and thinks that they have only been playing college basketball since 1991. They love to run their mouths when they are winning but when they lose you will not hear a whisper out of any of them. Not only that but when they do lose it’s never their fault, they are quick to place the blame elsewhere instead of just looking at their own team and saying we played poorly. A typical Duke fan is nothing more than a front-runner.

    Floor slapping

    Duke’s lame attempt at pumping themselves up before a defensive possession as become a joke over the last few seasons and a way to mock them. It is a typical self-serving look at me act that does not scare or strike fear in anybody these days. Duke might want to come up with a new gimmick to replace this one because it is old and played out.


    Greg Paulus. Enough said.

    The officals let them get away with almost everything and never T’up Krzyzewski

    More from Keeping It Heel

    Man those officials must have incredibly thick skin to take the kind of verbal abuse they take from Coach K every game. You don’t have to be an expert at reading lips to realize that the Duke coach loves his four letter words and other profane language. You can almost guarantee that 2-3 times a game that Coach K will walk out to midcourt get in a referee’s face about a call he doesn’t like and the ref won’t even attempt to call a technical foul on him.

    It is a sight that has become all too familiar to college basketball fans everywhere. The official’s fear of Coach K has resulted in his teams getting questionable calls in their favor for years, probably most noticeably during the 2001 Final Four, where several highly questionable calls went in Duke’s favor or weren’t called at all. The double standard that Krzyzewski use to complain about Coach Smith having, he has now and certainly seems to be enjoying it.

    The media protects them

    Ask any Duke fan or supporter and they will tell you that Duke runs a clean, honest program. Yeah okay sure they do. Every time there seems to be a potential problem it just seems to disappear without the media reporting on it or doing it’s due diligence. Over the years there have been a number issues that should have raised a red flag but was basically ignored.

    Next: 10 Reasons Why UNC Duke is the Best Rivalry in Sports

    Former Duke player Corey Maggette admitted to accepting money from a booster which should have resulted of Duke being stripped of their national title game appearance in 1999 but of course it wasn’t. There was the story of Chris Duhon’s mom who was shown at almost every game receiving a job from a Duke booster that was never posted and according to her coworkers she was not qualified for.

    There was J.J. Redick getting arrested for drunk driving in 2006 before the NBA draft. The Lance Thomas jewelry fiasco in 2010. Then of course there was the way Krzyzewski screwed longtime friend and assistant Pete Gaudet during the 1995 season when he basically refuse accept the 4-15 record that Duke posted in his absence. He would later come out and say the losses should be credited to him, it only took him 12 years to do it. Again stories that the media and Duke wants you to forget.

    The heartbreaking losses are tough to get over

    The Chris Duhon layup in 2004. Carolina failing to get off a final shot at Duke in 2005. Austin Rivers in 2012. I remember where I was when I watched those games and it almost sucked the life out of me every time. The losses in 2005 and 2012 were particularly brutal because everyone knew we were the better team and should have won both of those games.

    They are basically outsiders playing in our backyard

    More from North Carolina Tar Heels

    The state of North Carolina is a Tar Heel state, always has been and always will be that is why the best players in the state always go to Carolina. Because of that Duke has always had to go out-of-state for its best players usually somewhere up north like New York or New Jersey or Chicago because it can’t land the marquee recruits in its own state. Can you name one big name recruit from the state who ever went to Duke? Shavlik Randolph? How did that work out for them?

    It is hard giving the Dukies their due

    Whether we want to admit it or not, the fact is Mike Krzyzewski is one of the best coaches college basketball has ever seen. You don’t put up the kind numbers he has without knowing how to coach. Will he ever be considered the greatest coach ever? Not by me and definitely not by anyone who wears the correct shade of blue. What makes it more difficult is that he now occupies the spot that was once reversed for Coach Smith — a legendary coach so revered that you do not question almost anything he does whether it be on or off the court.

    He is now the standard-bearer for college coaches and that he coaches our biggest rival only makes it worst.