Local News

Duke vs UNC: The Battle for Tobacco RoadBragging Rights

Posted February 4, 1998

— North Carolinians are often measured by the college team for which they root. Thursday night, fans will rise or fall on the outcome of the game basketball fans in the Triangle live for -- as the Number one team in the country, Duke University, takes on number 2 , the University of North Carolina, at the Dean Dome in Chapel Hill.

Things were very quiet in the Dean Dome at noon, but the decibel level was expected to increase dramatically by game time. That's when the arch-rival teams take the floor to battle it out for Tobacco Road bragging rights. The rankings only serve to turn one of the biggest games in the area into one of the biggest in the country.

Freshman Duke forward Shane Battier says he's looking forward to a good game.

Tar Heels Junior forward Antawn Jamison says this will be a real showdown.

Gray skies above Chapel Hill's Franklin Street couldn't cast a shadow on the Carolina blue below, as UNC fans flocked into stores to purchase team paraphernalia. Fan Sylvia Trogden said she would be covered in fan-wear.

Along Chapel Hill's Franklin St., gray skies could not overshadow Carolina blue as shoppers prepared for the big event. Merchant Kathleen Lord says she likes to think one of her displays helps the team.

Chapel Hill souvenir store owner Shelton Henderson, sporting a tiny Tar Heel emblem on his cheek, said this game is as big as it gets.

After measuring preparations in Chapel Hill, WRAL-TV5's Betsy Sykes headed up Highway 15-501 to get the Blue Devils' side of the pre-game story.

By comparison, the Duke campus was subdued. Duke fan Ed Miller says it is a calm born of confidence.

Devin Gordon, editor of theDuke Chronicle, the campus newspaper, says they created an issue that poked fun at their rivals. The parody issue was called the "Daily Tar Hole".

Editors of the two schools' newspapers have struck a deal. If Duke wins, UNC has to publish itsDaily Tar Heelwith Duke blue in the banner. If UNC wins, Duke's paper will run with Carolina blue on its front page.


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