UNC-DUKE: Cameron Indoor Stadium center stage for Tar Heels, Blue Devils
To make a North Carolina basketball fan cringe, all you have to do is mention the name “Austin Rivers.”
For a similar reaction from a Duke supporter, just mention the Tar Heels’ regular season-ending payback visit to Cameron Indoor Stadium.
Neither of those will matter in tonight’s first installment of the Duke-Carolina series of 2013, except that everything matters in this rivalry.
The Blue Devils will be playing their 200th consecutive game while ranked in the top 10 of the Associated Press poll.
The Tar Heels? Well, they’re outside the Top 25 largely as a result of four players, including three underclassmen, leaving for the NBA.
UNC leads the series, which dates to Jan. 24, 1920, holding a 132-102 advantage.
More recently, Duke has won five of the past seven contests against UNC.
Homecourt advantage? The road team has won nine of the past 14 meetings since 2006.
Locally, the game will be broadcast on WRAL with former Duke center Mike Gminski providing color analysis.
The national audience will see ESPN’s coverage that includes Jay Bilas, another former Duke frontcourt star.
But UNC fans always can turn down the sound and listen to commentary on the radio from Eric Montross, the Tar Heels’ center on the 1993 NCAA championship team.
After all, everything matters when the Tar Heels and Blue Devils get together on the court.
Enjoy the show.