Duke vs. MSU - Who Do You Pull For?

Submitted by Everyone Murders on March 27th, 2013 at 9:26 AM

In addition to Friday's tilt with Michigan playing Kansas, we'll all be keeping an eye on the MSU vs. Duke game.  For many of us it's a classic meteor game, with the upside being that one of them has to lose, but I thought the board might like to sound off on who to pull for.

I've pretty quickly concluded that I'll pinch my nose and pull for MSU.  Partially for Big Ten pride, partially because I have a modicum of respect for the job Izzo's done (even if much of it was done via low-hanging fruit from the Ed Martin bushwa), and part of it because I know some pretty decent MSU fans.  But mostly because I have an almost pathological dislike for Duke and the bulk of their fans.

I first came to dislike Duke because of Christian Laettner.  I read a story in SI way back when where Cherokee Parks came to Laettner's dorm room on a visit, and Laettner cold-cocked him - and followed it up with screaming at Parks about how tough you need to be to play for Duke.  At the time I thought "this guy Laettner sounds like a total jackass" and nothing I've seen since changes that view.  A talented jackass to be sure, but a jackass.

And then there's Krzyzewski.  When I was a kid, I bought into the "he's a class act and does things the 'right way'" image that's hard to get away from even these days.  As I got older, I learned to dislike the cult built around him - it's an almost pre-Sandusky Paterno cult of personality.  He's been successful, but seems like a weasel most times I see him.  From his whinging about fans rushing the court after losing to VA, to his talking about recruiting kids with "character" but somehow overlooking recruiting areas like Detroit (Shane Battier doesn't count - Detroit Country Day sure isn't Detroit!), to defending thuggish moves from the likes of Gerald Henderson, to the American Express ad, and on and on.

And the Duke fans are generally wretched.  Anyone who jaws about "Michigan Arrogance" or "Domer Arrogance" likely has not seen the pinnacle of douchebaggery.  Whether they chanted about NC State's player's grandmother's death or not - the fact that it was believable to many spoke volumes. 

(I have some respect for a few Duke alumns - Grant Hill, Tommy Amaker, and several on the academic side of the equation.  But if Coach K. and Laettner are going to be your poster children, well - that's your poster.) 

So yeah - MSU fans may have a large juggalo contingent, wear a bunch of Axe, burn upholstered furniture at bad times, and paint numbers on their chest representing days since U-M won in basketball right before they lose on national TV.  But I'll be grudgingly pulling for them on Friday.

Who are you pulling for, and why?



March 27th, 2013 at 10:43 AM ^

... much more targeted, and thus less likely to involve innocent bystanders.

That said, I'm all for MSU schadenfreude; I can't resist "sympathizing" with my Sparty friends whenever possible.






March 27th, 2013 at 9:31 AM ^

As much as we all dislike Duke, there would be nothing better than going to a Final Four while MSU watch from home. Basketball is all they have now that Hoke is here, afterall.


March 27th, 2013 at 9:31 AM ^

Dook. We lost to them by 1 point 2 years ago in the Tourney when they were a 1 seed, and we had a chance to win it in the final seconds and would have if Darius's shot would have gone in. I think Beilein just knows how to coach against their predictable style of play.


March 27th, 2013 at 9:33 AM ^

What's good for my bracket (as long as it doesn't hurt U of M), is good for me. Despite how much I despise coach K and Duke, I will be pulling for the Blue Devils.


March 27th, 2013 at 9:34 AM ^

only be watching that game if we win anyway.  Wish we were the late game so that I could enjoy State v. Duke win or lose.  I am that way on football Saturdays too.  If we lose the rest of the day is pretty much shot as far as watching is concerned.

Wolverine 73

March 27th, 2013 at 9:38 AM ^

Living in Ohio, my pathological hatred is for the Buckeyes, not the Spartans.  Izzo has done a great job there, and has not tolerated the antics the football coaches have tolerated.  I wouldn't mind seeing three Big Ten teams in the semi-finals--so long as the Buckeyes are not one of them.


March 27th, 2013 at 10:22 AM ^

They are Ivan Drago, that douchy team in the Mighty Ducks and racist teams from Remember the Titans, Radio and The Blindside, all rolled into one. They are every villian from 80's movies and epic whiners about officiating (which mostly goes there way). I just can't stand to root for them and MSU by comparison seems likeable.

Or maybe I was just a freshman at Butler in 2010-11 and I haven't gotten over that loss in the finals. Duke is just the most hateable teamin basketball for me.


March 27th, 2013 at 9:42 AM ^

MSU, and pulling hard. Basketball I root for our rivals. Football it's pure hatred and spite, but basketball I really want the B1G to succeed. Except Wisconsin


March 27th, 2013 at 9:42 AM ^

I know its Good to cheer for your little brother every Once in a while (except for Dantonio), so I gUess I'll forego lacK of interest and cheEr for MSU. I'll try, I promise.


March 27th, 2013 at 9:45 AM ^

1. Any team that is coached by Tom Crean

1A. Any Ohio team

2. Duke

3. MSU

4. Any team coached by Bo Ryan

 I'll be pulling for Sparty slightly for conference pride. If they lose, I'll get over it quickly.



March 27th, 2013 at 9:47 AM ^

As sweet as it would be to be in the Final Four with Sparty at home, it will be that much better to beat them in the National Championship game.


March 27th, 2013 at 9:47 AM ^

Duke only because I took them

In my bracket. I think Msu wins though, they have looked a lot better than duke in my opinion in the tourney so far.

In General, I'll root for all big ten teams to advance as long as Michigan does. If Michigan gets knocked out, then it'll be more passive rooting.


March 27th, 2013 at 9:47 AM ^

Duke has been our speedbump in many tournaments in the past - I'd like to play them again and beat them.

We are 95-76 against MSU, 8-21 vs Duke, 0-3 vs Duke in the NCAAs.



March 27th, 2013 at 9:48 AM ^

I just flipped a coin. Heads was Duke, tails was MSU. The coin landed tails up, so I will pull for MSU. This works out pretty good, as I do dislike Duke the most of the two.

Der Alte

March 27th, 2013 at 9:52 AM ^

Definitely MSU. I grudgingly accept that Payne and Nix are two of the better post-up guys in the country. Izzo's a very good coach. He's not my favorite MSU coach --- that would be Judd Heathcote ---- and Harris and Appling are good, but would I trade either for TB? --- forget about it!.

The Dukies are who they are --- they've made a fetish of coming up with boorish and inelegant BB-game chants. But then, I was in Madison in February. When TB went to the free-throw line at the student end of the court, those selfsame students chanted in unison: "Trey Burke Swallows."

Bad student behavior at BB games is hardly limited to those in Durham, NC.


March 27th, 2013 at 9:55 AM ^

Duke no question. 


If MSU wins they brag about being the better program, team, yadda yadda etc.  If MSU loses they will talk about how we've only cared about basketball for the past 2 years.  Forced to choose I prefer the latter.  Plus as much as I hate coack K, seeing IZZO lose is one of my guilty pleasures. 


That being said, GO BLUE! Beat Kansas!