The Drive Friday 3-2-12- Dick Vitale, legendary ESPN basketball commentator, called in to the Drive to discuss whether or not Duke/UNC is the greatest rivalry of all time, who he thinks will win the game, and whether or not UNC could beat the Charlotte Bobcats.
Vitale was practically brimming with excitement over tomorrow night’s Duke/UNC game, and for good reason-he has covered the last 41 meetings between Duke and UNC.
“Should be a wild scene, so much at stake, and that’s why that rivalry is so special…great players, hall of fame coaches…right now you got number one seed possibly, number one in the ACC and ACC regular season championship, and a lot of pride.”
Vitale said he picked Duke Coach Mike Krzyzewski as the best coach in the ACC not only because of the strength of the team but because of how Coach K managed to take a young team of unknowns and mold them in to another National Championship caliber team.
“I think that [Duke] has had a great year, in today’s day and age it is tough to beat everyone convincingly…North Carolina doesn’t have to apologize to anyone, they have really had a terrific year…in the ACC [UNC Senior] Zeller has been absolutely fantastic, had a career game his last game…[but] what Mike has done for the team is amazing…you don’t have a superstar…[Duke doesn't] have those kind of players. They have very good players with a will to win [which obviously is just as important as skill...UNC has more skilled players but is still deadlocked with Duke].”
Vitale did feel that Duke has had its’ own share of problems, mainly with home games. He believes the pressure of home court advantage has been effecting Blue Devil play. With two teams having such a presence in basketball, he pointed out that Duke and UNC have never faced off in March Madness, something he found baffling. Nonetheless, he feels the pairing of Duke/UNC is the greatest rivalry of any sport-especially because the game typically bares great weight on placement in the ACC tournament and March Madness.
“If you are a college basketball fan [it is a huge game, especially because] it usually effects ranks and seeding…it really has been magical over the years…it’ll be a March Madness game tomorrow in terms of effort, enthusiasm and excitement…”