Nov 07 2008
As we roll out yet another series of “Tailgating Nation,” it’s time to start embracing the beginning of the NCAA Basketball season. Although we’re still only in preseason mode, you can bet that fans are ready to whip out the face paint and start cheering.
And who better to start out with than Duke? Yeah I know, UNC is ranked number one in the AP polls, but you have to admit, there’s just something about Duke that’s in the blood.
If you go to school there, you bleed Devil blue. If you don’t, it’s just such a fun team to keep track of whether you like them or not. So in the interest of getting pumped for this year….
Here are 10 reasons that Duke is a great tailgate.
An Extremely Successful Basketball Program
As the fourth-winningest men’s basketball program of all-time, the team from Duke University has had great success over the past 27 years under coach Mike Krzyzewski.
Duke has won three NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Championships and appeared in 14 Final Fours. Eleven players have been named the National Player of the Year, while 71 players have been drafted in the NBA Draft. For the 2008–2009 NBA season, Duke has more former players on NBA rosters than any other school
Mike “The Most Ridiculous Spelled Last Name” Krzyzewski
Just check out these stats under his era. They’re disturbing.
The only team to win three national championships (1991, 1992, 2001)
Ten Final Fours (1st in nation) as well as five in a row from 1988 to 1992
17 Sweet Sixteens (1st) and nine straight from 1998-2006
23 NCAA tournament berths: T-2nd
69 NCAA tournament wins: 1st
10 No. 1 seeds: 1st
Reached the Final Four or been a No. 1 seed in 15 of the last 20 years.
21 conference titles (11 regular season, 10 tournament): T-2nd
ACC Tournament Championships five years in a row from 1999 to 2003
Nine 30-win seasons: 1st
21 20-win seasons: T-3rd
Number 1 rankings in 13 of the past 20 seasons
Seven players named Naismith College Player of the Year: 1st
Eight National Defensive Players of the Year: 1st
25 AP All-Americans: 1st
12 first team All-Americans: 1st
11 NBA top-10 picks: T-1s
Duke/North Carolina Rivalry
Though the two schools had always had the contempt born of familiarity and proximity, some of the earliest roots of the modern basketball rivalry occurred in the early 1960s when Duke star and eventual national player of the year Art Heyman got into a brawl on the court with North Carolina’s Larry Brown which resulted in suspensions for both players. The rivalry reached unprecedented heights in the mid 1980s under head coaches Dean Smith of North Carolina and Mike Krzyzewski of Duke, thanks to the emergence of cable channels such as ESPN and the increasing coverage of the ACC in national broadcasts by the three major networks, giving a vast national audience more opportunities to witness the two teams and their coaches
Because Duke Fans Will Always have this video to fall back on
could go without the crying but fine.
Recruiting Program – Freshmen Talent
Every year they seem to bring in a crop of Freshmen that are disturbingly good. They’re recruiting program is by far superior to at least 95% of the nations. Credit’s gotta go to Coach K on this one. But the point is that it always gives fans something to talk about before games. This year there are three studs to keep track of and big things are expected of Elliot Williams.
Cameron Indoor Stadium
Cameron Indoor Stadium was completed on January 6, 1940, having cost $400,000. At the time, it was the largest gymnasium in the country south of the Palestra at the University of Pennsylvania. Originally called Duke Indoor Stadium, it was renamed for Cameron on January 22, 1972
Duke’s men’s basketball teams have had a decided home-court advantage for many years, thanks to the diehard students known as the Cameron Crazies. The hardwood floor has been dedicated and renamed Coach K Court in honor of head coach Mike Krzyzewski, and the tent city outside Cameron where students camp out before big games is known as Krzyzewskiville. In 1999, Sports Illustrated ranked Cameron the fourth best sporting venue and is considered the “toughest road game in the nation.”
The Former Duke NBA Players That Suck (in the NBA) but wind up on sites like Mine
You have to admit, they’re pretty damned die hard. And aren’t they just fun as hell to hate? I mean I can’t imagine a more fun road trip than to know you’re gonna get into it with the Blue Devil Faithful.
Blue Devils Cheerleaders
You can even book them for an event! It’s 50 bucks per hour. As long as I get a happy ending.
Because I’d Love to Run Into this Guy and Hit him
Even More Uncoachable Stuff
- 8 Coaches With Great Job Security
- The 5 Biggest Tools in NCAA Tourney History
- The 10 Most Hated Teams in Sports Right Now
- Uncoached Diet – KU Football Underway and Coach Mark Mangino Ready to Feast
- Why I Miss College: It Looks Like Duke Lacrosse is Holding up Just Fine in the Party Department