Michigan and Duke are basketball rivals?

Submitted by DealerCamel on January 13th, 2013 at 1:27 AM

Right, so I was bouncing around the interwebz a little while ago basking in the fact that Duke lost and that we are #1 for now, and then discovered this:


Apparently the "rivalry" between Michigan and Duke is big enough to warrant a Wiki page.  I was utterly unaware of this.  I mean... what?




January 13th, 2013 at 8:38 AM ^

Reminds me of walking to a football game in the early 90's. Guy walking toward me had a shirt that said "DUKE SUCKS." As he passed and walked away, on his back it said "AND LAETNER SWALLOWS!"


January 13th, 2013 at 9:08 AM ^

If your defintion of Rivalry is them beating us almost every time we've played since the 90's most of the time by big margins than yes we could be considered rivals :-)


January 13th, 2013 at 9:29 AM ^

I have a little different take on this.  Most everyone here has a slightly different definition of the word..Rival.

Do I hate Duke BB? (and NC for that matter) Yes.  Are we a rivalS in acedemics?  Yes.  Are we rivals in FB? no.  Are we rivals in BB? No.

I define a rival as someone, some entity, some school that has an equal amount of hatred for each other.  A rival is that the outcome of the game means something a little more than bragging rights.  In my opinion, it has to go both ways.

I am sure that most Michigan BB fans hate Duke.  But that does not make them our "rival".  There is nothing to gain (save NCAA Tourney) on the outcome.  Duke's rival is NC.  NC's rival is Duke.  There is no question about this.

Our rival is ohio, (in most sports).  Their rival is us.  We are NOT rivals with moo U.  We are NOT rivals with ND.  We are not rivals with EMU.  As I have posted previously, there are 5 Big Ten FB teams that consider us their rival.  However we only have one.

CRISPed in the DIAG

January 13th, 2013 at 9:39 AM ^

I still dislike Grant Hill. As far as Laetner, there was never any mystery about his d-baggery.  But Grant Hill was placed on a pedestal and we were all expected to worship his bloodline, supposed intellect, work ethic and clean life.  This continued well into his NBA career until his injuries and complete inability to help his many different teams advance into the post season.  I may not hate Duke, but its really difficult for me to like them.

But I'm not sure any of that translates into a current rivalry.  I live in the Triangle, have Duke friends, and can assure you that UM doesn't make their list.  It's probably composed of UNC and...and that's it.  I actually get the impression that they feel like they should win every game and if they don't it was because of bad luck (other team exceeds expectations or one of their own is injured).  Think Notre Dame - but without the Catholic pretense.


January 13th, 2013 at 10:36 AM ^

I actually get the impression that they feel like they should win every game and if they don't it was because of bad luck (other team exceeds expectations

It's been my experience that if Duke or UNC loses a game in basketball, except to each other, that much credit is rarely given to the opponent. Though UNC is guiltier of this than Duke.


January 13th, 2013 at 9:48 AM ^

This was a legit, out of conference rivalry for both programs before Michigan effectively stopped fielding a competitive basketball team from 1999-2007 due to major sanctions.

First game in the modern series between these 2 teams took place in the 89-90 season, the year after Michigan won the NC and 1 year before Coach K won his first. Michigan won that initial game, and the 2 teams started playing every year in the non-conference schedule all the way through 2008 or 2009, I believe.

This rivalry was big nationally in the 90's, especially during the Fab 5 era. It was an OT loss on national TV against Duke in 91 that basically launched the Fab 5 to National stardom. The Fab 5 went 0-fer against some great Duke teams, most notably in the NCAA title game in 92. Post Fab 5, Michigan B-Ball started underachieving every year but finally started beating Duke with a little more frequency, including wins in 95, 97 and 98 (3 out of my 4 years in college, incidentally).

After 1998, the Dark Period began for Michigan B-Ball, and even though the 2 teams kept playing every year it became a series of Duke blowouts. It was kind of like RichRod vs Tressel, only for 9 years instead of 3. We finally beat them again in 08 once we started to field a halfway decent team, but years of apathy and suckitude allowed the rivalry to fizzle out, to the point where the annual series got canceled.

It was ironic, then, that the two teams played each other in the Tourney in 11, so soon after the series had been canceled. It came on the heels of Jalen's awesome Fab 5 documentary, which of course stoked a bunch of old flames and led to Grant Hill's editorial rebuttal. Just for old time's sake, Michigan found a way to break its fan base's hearts by losing that Tourney game to Duke in the final seconds.

Now that Michigan is respectable as a national program again, it would be nice to see them resume the series in future years.

I don't think Wiki was wrong for listing this as a rivalry. For those who remember, Duke-Michigan games used to be a huge deal and got a ton of national coverage. The Duke game was our basketball equivalent of the Notre Dame rivalry in football.


January 13th, 2013 at 11:16 AM ^

I don't think Wiki was wrong for listing this as a rivalry.

It should be noted that Wikipedia is a completely user-generated encyclopedia. They didn't write that article; individual contributors (most of whom are probably Michigan fans) did.

I was a fan during the Fab Five years and at that point it certainly felt like a rivalry. But that feeling only lasted a few years during the 1990s. During the Ellerbe years it certainly didn't feel like a big deal, and when the series was cancelled under Amaker most people hardly noticed. (You wrote above that we played them every year under Ellerbe/Amaker, but that's inaccurate.  We did not play in between 2002 and 2007.)

For us to call it a "rivalry" now feels a lot like Illinois fans saying that about Michigan-Illinois. It clearly means much more to one school than the other. It had its moments, but rivalries are built on more than just a few memorable games. Or is Michigan-Colorado a rivalry in football?

snarling wolverine

January 13th, 2013 at 11:02 AM ^

We were (although to be honest, it was one-sided, mattering more to us than them, aside from perhaps when the Fab Five was here) . . . but  we aren't anymore.  The series needs to be restarted.

snarling wolverine

January 13th, 2013 at 11:30 AM ^

I think it takes more than just hatred (from one side) for there to be a rivalry.  A lot of people here hate Alabama, USC, etc., but I don't think that means we have a rivalry with them.

Lots of fans hate Duke - they're successful, they're private, they have a reputation as being kind of preppy, etc. - but that doesn't mean Duke has 100 different rivalries.  We've played some great games with them, but not enough to make it a meaningful year-in, year-out thing.  Really, if someone has to ask "Is it a rivalry?" then no, it probably isn't.


January 13th, 2013 at 11:38 AM ^

think both are true. To some extent it is in our (Michigan's) minds, that is true--and a matter of resentment. Also may be truer for us old guys, who lived through the pain of the big beatings during the Fab Five era, and really absorbed the hate between the Fab Five and Hill. I was so happy when we beat them in 08. 

snarling wolverine

January 13th, 2013 at 11:49 AM ^

I remember the Fab Five games.  I despised Duke during that time.  But it was just a couple of years.  If we had stayed a national power all that and continued to play them annually, it might be a rivalry.  But I don't know how you could say it is now.  

Along the same lines, while Michigan-Indiana was a huge deal for awhile in the '80s and early '90s, I don't think we can really say that we currently have a rivalry with them, given how the last 15 years have gone down for the two schools.  That may change, though.




January 13th, 2013 at 11:49 AM ^

I think we can all agree that when Duke and Michigan play, it's going to be more special than when Duke and Michigan State play or Michigan and Wake Forest play.  There's history, there's quality and there's strong fan support.  Of course, Michigan and Duke are not each other's biggest rivals, but it's definitely something that gets the fans pumped.  That, to me, is a pretty good rivalry.

Sons of Louis Elbel

January 13th, 2013 at 11:58 AM ^

One of the first strikes against Amaker, IMO, was that he didn't want to play Duke once he became coach here. Sharp contrast from Bo, who'd been an assistant at tOSU but who, as we all know, absolutely lived to beat them.


January 13th, 2013 at 12:00 PM ^

It could be a rivalry if we scheduled it annually, but, IMO we aren't quite there.  That differs from whoever created this wikipedia article, but, just my 2 cents.