Duke vs UNC basketball rivalry: Saturday’s game is historic

With Duke and North Carolina nonetheless absent from the latest Related Press Prime 25, their first head-to-head conflict of the season this Saturday turns into historic in a means neither would favor.

For the primary time since 1960, when Dwight Eisenhower was nonetheless within the White Home, the longtime rivals will each be unranked after they play at 6 p.m. Saturday at Cameron Indoor Stadium.

Two weeks in the past, when Duke fell out of the ballot for the primary time since 2016, that day’s ballot marked the primary time Duke and UNC had been unranked on the similar time since December 1982.

However their rivalry matchup had at all times included one or the opposite within the nationwide rankings going again one other 20 years.

The final time they met as unranked groups was Feb. 27, 1960, when UNC beat Duke 75-50 at Cameron Indoor.

These Tar Heels had been ranked No. 13 two weeks earlier after they beat Duke 84-58 at Woollen Gymnasium on Feb. 13, 1960. UNC fell to No. 19 within the subsequent ballot on Feb. 16 and was out of the highest 20 posted on Feb. 23 after shedding 85-81 to South Carolina on Feb. 20.

The lopsided loss to UNC on Feb. 27, 1960, dropped Duke to 12-10 general in Vic Bubas’ first season as head coach. However the Blue Devils gained their subsequent 5 video games, capturing their first ACC event championship after beating No. 16 UNC within the semifinals. They fell a win wanting the 1960 Ultimate 4.

During the last 61 years, whereas persistently assembly with at the very least one in every of them ranked, UNC and Duke have mixed for 10 NCAA event championships — 5 every.

At present, Duke and UNC are on an upswing after their middling begins to the season dropped them from the nationwide rankings.

The Blue Devils (7-5, 5-3 ACC), after splitting their first 10 games, have won two in a row getting into Monday evening at Miami.

UNC (11-5, 6-3 ACC) has won six of its last seven games, including three in a row. The Tar Heels play Clemson on Tuesday evening earlier than heading to Durham for Saturday’s 6 p.m. recreation in opposition to Duke.

Duke acquired no votes on this week’s ballot, whereas three voters had UNC at No. 25.

This will probably be simply the fifteenth time for the reason that AP ballot started within the 1948-49 season that Duke and UNC will play with each unranked. The groups, famend for being evenly aggressive, have cut up the primary 14 video games.

The primary 13 unranked video games between all of them occurred between 1949-55.

Steve Wiseman has coated Duke athletics since 2010 for the Durham Herald-Solar and Raleigh Information & Observer. He positioned second in each beat writing and breaking information within the 2019 Related Press Sports activities Editors nationwide contest. Beforehand, Steve labored for The State (Columbia, SC), Herald-Journal (Spartanburg, S.C.), The Solar Herald (Biloxi, Miss.), Charlotte Observer and Hickory (NC) Each day Document overlaying beats together with the NFL’s Carolina Panthers and New Orleans Saints, College of South Carolina athletics and the S.C. Common Meeting. He’s gained quite a few state-level press affiliation awards. Steve graduated from Illinois State College in 1989.

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