Hate and basketball: Duke vs. UConn
College hoops' hottest rivalry crosses genders, regions and often the lines of civility
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.
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
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