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Hate and basketball: Duke vs. UConn

College hoops' hottest rivalry crosses genders, regions and often the lines of civility

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WHY I HATE ... DUKE

The lingering theme in Durham, N.C., these days is jealousy. Usually it's other schools that resent the Dookies when it comes to hoops (which, if I'm not mistaken, the Blue Devils believe they invented), yet now it's the Cameron Crazies who are obsessed with hating the Huskies.

  UConn fans
Manny Millan

Their vitriol dates back to 1999 and four infamous digits: 77-74. That was the result when the overrated Blue Devils were RIP'ped by Richard Hamilton and UConn in the men's final.

So then the geeks down in Durham foolishly reached for the apex (we don't say Summitt in Storrs) of women's hoops. They ran into a Yankee they couldn't defeat in UConn coach Geno Auriemma, who before their '03 duel in Durham tweaked the Blue(blood) Devils faithful by saying, "There are just as many Duke graduates waiting on tables as there is [sic] from any other school in the country. They may just be working at a better restaurant."

(Geno 1, Crazies 0.)

UConn then won 77-65. (Geno 2, Crazies 0.)

As for infamous digits: Fourteen years ago Christian Laettner banked in a last-second-of-overtime runner in the Elite Eight to KO us 79-78. That remains the most painful loss in Huskies history. Last Saturday we exorcised that defeat, knocking out Duke by the poetically perfect count of ... 79-78. -- Matt Burke

Burke, a journalism major at UConn, is associate sports editor of the Daily Campus.

WHY I HATE ... UCONN

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Bob Jordan/AP

We remember the Meadowlands.

That was 1990, when Christian Laettner nailed a running, double-pumping jumper to send the Huskies home on the short end of a thrilling 79-78 game.

We remember St. Petersburg, too.

That was in '99, when the Blue Devils failed to defend their appellation as the nation's best team, losing to Connecticut in the national title game. No, Matt, I don't recall the score.

We moved on -- leaning forward, not backward -- an attitude that has led the Blue Devils to more Final Fours (10) in the past 19 years than the entire Big East has reached (seven) in that span.

Sure, we were chapped when UConn's Diana Taurasi beat out Alana Beard for the Naismith Award. And we can't stand Geno. (He's opening his own restaurant next year, and I guaran-damn-tee you no Duke alum will be working there.) But that's women's hoops.

On the men's side, we could care less about the vitriol emanating from Connecticut. Such animus comes from selective memory, as the Huskies wonder at themselves like the Narcissus of college hardwood. Remember this, UConn: This was your second Final Four; it was our second since 2001. -- Mike Corey

Corey, a history major at Duke, is the sports editor of The Chronicle.

Issue date: April 8, 2004

SI On Campus: April 8, 2004 issue 
SI ON CAMPUS

Sports Illustrated On Campus, a new magazine covering college sports and collegiate lifestyles, is available as an insert in 72 major college newspapers across the country every Thursday throughout the school year. Click any of the links below to see selected content from the latest issue, or click here to get the entire issue in digital format.

Scorecard: Why I hate ... Duke | UConn
Road Trip: College Station, Texas
Road Trip: A miracle at Minnesota
Previous issue: April 1, 2004
 

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