Local News

Fans celebrate Battle of the Blues

Posted February 11, 2010 12:01 a.m. EST
Updated February 11, 2010 8:48 a.m. EST

— Duke fans on Wednesday evening watched as their team beat North Carolina 64-54 on the court. The legendary basketball rivalry always brings out about the best of team spirit.

“Because they're our rivalry, they're so close to us, but we're so much better than them. So we have to bring the spirit,” UNC student Jasmine Harris said.

The Tar Heels came into the 24th edition of the Battle of the Blues having lost six of their last seven games but having dominated their Tobacco Road rival in recent years.

Duke was 7-2 in the ACC entering Wednesday's game; UNC was 2-6. Many fans expected a decisive Blue Devils win, but Carolina fought back to make the game close throughout. In the end, however, the Blue Devils took the win.

“Everyone just built it up. It’s coming all year. All the other fans talk about it. It’s just one of the best rivalries in basketball,” Duke fan Ethan Schnell said.

UNC fan Barbara Smith says she has only missed one game since the Dean Smith Center opened in 1986.

“They’re arch rivals. I don't care what they are ranked, it's always a super game,” Smith said.

The Tar Heels crowd roared when Tyler Hansbrough’s jersey was officially retired at the game.

“I think his work ethic, not that you get to that level without a work ethic by any stretch, but his was just exceptional,” UNC fan Randall Maupin said.

“Very, very impressive, remarkable player, work ethic, unbelievable, very glad he's gone,” Duke fan Andy Maupin said of Hansbrough.