The Rival Rundown: UNC-Chapel Hill vs Duke

dukeuncWelcome to a new College Candy feature: The Rival Rundown! We’re taking a look at the oldest, fiercest, and even funniest rivalries between colleges and universities all over the country. We’re going to be examining everything from mascots to mess halls to the most obnoxious traditions, all with the intent of determining which schools are ballin’ out of control.

And if you’ve always wanted to give props to your school on CC, now’s your chance! Shoot us an email explaining what’s awesome and unique about your school (or what stinks about Rival U) at rivalrundown@collegecandy.com!

This week, we focus on one of the most intense rivalries in all of sports. Only eight miles (and immeasurable animosity) separate the campuses of UNC-Chapel Hill and Duke University. Both are excellent schools with terrific athletic traditions. Between two seemingly similar schools, who will win the Battle of the Blues?

1. Mascot Matchup

UNC- The Tar Heels take their nickname from a reported exchange between Civil War soldiers about Carolina’s fidelity to the Confederate cause.
Duke- The Blue Devils got their name from an homage to French soldiers during WWI, Les Diables Bleus.

Three credits to: Duke. Though both nicknames have military origins, the Confederates eventually lost and the French were among the Great War’s victors. Way to pick a winner, Duke.

2. Terrific Traditions

UNC– Drinking from the Old Well on the first day of class for luck, as well as a popular bumper sticker proclaiming “God must be a Tar Heel since he made the sky Carolina Blue!”
Duke– Cameron Crazies–as Duke basketball aficionados are known–love setting up tents in front of their stadium awaiting tickets to games, sometimes days in advance. The infamous Coach K is reported to sometimes buy pizza for the thousands of loyal fans as they wait.

Three Credits to: Duke- free pizza and regular slumber parties? Count me in!

3. Famous Fixtures in Pop Culture

UNC- President Obama famously selected the Tar Heels for victory in his 2009 March Madness bracket. “Don’t embarrass me in front of the nation,” he told them. They didn’t.
– The Blue Devils garnered a lot of press for their infamous rape scandal involving several lacrosse players. While the players were eventually exonerated, the case threw the issues of college hazing, sexual abuse, and handling the rights of the accused into the national spotlight.

Three credits to:  UNC- if it’s good enough for Obama, it’s good enough for me.

4. Ass-kicking Alumni

UNC– Mia Hamm, Michael Jordan, Tyler Hainsbrough
Duke- Kara DioGuardi, Tucker Max, Grant Hill

Three credits to: UNC- hard to compete with Michael Jordan, one of the most recognizable celebrities in the entire world. The dude’s got his own sneaker, a campaign with Gatorade, and he was in a movie with the entire Looney Tunes cast. Beat that,  Kara.

5. Acceptance Rate Agony

UNC- Only 34% were admitted for its class of 2012.
Duke– accepted 18.8% of its applicants for the same class.

Three credits to: Duke– with a clear victory in admissions selectivity, it looks like more young’ns wanna be Blue Devils these days.

And the diploma goes to: Duke! Though Carolina leads the athletics series (as of last season), those from Durham score more all-around points.



    1. LC says:

      DOOOOk is not better than UNC. sorry.

    2. ang says:


    3. SA says:

      The students who attend Duke should make UNC win by default!

    4. Sandra says:

      Duke is for losers. UNC has people who actually look human and don't resemble monsters. Both girls and guys. Duke is for ugly people. That is a known fact.

    5. Rachel says:


    6. lavitaverde says:

      Go to hell carolina, go to hell.

    7. YONI says:

      whoever wrote this article sounds hot.

    8. C says:

      My mom went to Duke as did my Grandma, and they were both beautiful! UNC is for North Carolinians, whereas Duke is for people around the nation and the globe!


    9. Alexa says:

      C: Don't kid yourself. Duke is universally known where all the ugly girls go whereas UNC is where all the beautiful girls go. Also, Durham is a POS wheras Chapel Hill kicks ass. Dookies are losers.

    10. D. S says:

      Well those tar shits who think they are ALL THAT go to DUKE and see if you can stand up to them:)

    11. eff unc says:

      Tarholes are idiots. They think they are the "people's college" and they turn their noses to NC state fans and call them MooU. The extremely pro-UNC media bias in North Carolina portrays UNC students as hard working, humble mother Teresas while they are probably the most idiotic bunch of losers I have ever met. But hey, what can we expect from UNC journalism school except to produce reporters wearing carolina blue-tinted glasses?

      I'd rather kill myself than set foot on unc's shitty campus.

    12. JD says:

      I go to college in colorado, but have visited North Carolina and both Duke and UNC campus many times. Duke's campus is better than UNC although there is a little more to do in chapel hill. And you can't beat cameron indoor for a basketball game. Also with such high admission standards, for Duke to even be able t compete athletically is incredible. Well chosen for Duke although maybe boozer, battier, reddick, and dahntay jones should have made the list for duke players, especially if your putin up hansborough straight for his play in college, as he is just a rook

    13. Eric says:

      , I literally had an owhnveelmirg amount of options for where I wanted to sit, and would have had a ton more had I just scalped. In all however, I like Wallace Wade. To me it invokes the glory old days of college football. I think, in fact, the NCHSAA should hold a state title game there every year. But in any case, you are entirely spot on in your writings. Nearly everyone was gone (partially due to the Holiday, but I suspect even if it wasn’t, there still would be next to no one there). The band had about six members. To be honest, I loved the Duke team entrance from the Gate of Hell. That was cool. Otherwise, I noticed Duke had a lot of players from Africa, and little else, beyond a Carolina victory.That said, in my normal life, living here at Carolina coast, there are no Duke fans in terms of football. And as I football guy, I know how much that costs a program. Sometimes I wonder if Duke should perhaps not even play ACC football. But that said, I do admire your dedication and loyalty to the Duke program. It isn’t often to see a west of Raleigh such an interest in football, and I think it was wonderful to have folks like yourself who care about Duke football. That frequently bugs me about Carolina, and sometimes I wish it was 30 years, 60 years ago, so I could see glory in football, becuase I personally would rather win the BCS title than the NCAA tourny title. But that is me, and that is an uncommon thinking about the fanbases. Keep on supporting your Blue Devils, and good luck in possibly being in bowl contention this season.

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