UNC, Duke Ready To Take Center Court In Chapel Hill
Posted January 31, 2002 5:39 a.m. EST
DURHAM, N.C. — Duke and UNC are set to take center stage in their historic rivalry. However this year, Duke is No. 1 in the country while UNC is struggling out of the gates.
The Tar Heels (6-11, 2-5 in ACC) are enduring one of their worst seasons in history while the Blue Devils (18-1, 6-1 in ACC) appear to be making plans for this year's Final Four in Atlanta. However, this game always brings out the best in both teams.
"People are probably saying that they have no chance or this or that, whatever. But people were saying that about us last year, so I'm sure that they are very confident and they will be ready to play. They know us. They won't fear us," said Duke forward Mike Dunleavy.
The Tar Heels said, despite their record, they have a good shot to upset the Heels.
"I feel like they have all of the pressure on them. They are coming in as the No. 1 team in the country, No. 1 in the ACC and no one is expecting anything out of us, so all we have to do is play hard, take care of the ball and make them make the plays," said UNC Forward Jason Capel.
"People will be saying, 'Well, Carolina is down. They don't have a chance.' He (Krzyzewski) is going to find a way to motivate that team to come out and play typical Duke basketball, and we have to find a way to come out and play as best we can," said UNC coach Matt Doherty.
Student turnout for Saturday's distribution of basketball tickets was so low at UNC that Carolina Athletic Association officials spent this week giving out 500 leftover tickets to students on a first-come, first-serve basis.
"The records aren't very close, but in the rivalry, anything can happen," one student said.
Duke Student Government (DSG) has waged a campaign to discourage a bonfire after the basketball game.
According to the Duke Chronicle, in a Jan. 24 e-mail addressed to the entire student body, DSG President C.J. Walsh and Head Line Monitor Greg Skidmore declared, "the Heels ain't worth a bench, they ain't worth a bonfire..."
"We want to hold onto them. We expect big games this season, including the national championship, so we want to save them," said one Duke student.
The game will start at 9 p.m. and can be seen on WRAL-TV5.