Heading into the 2010 Final Four it felt as if the entire country was rooting for anyone besides Duke. I’ve asked a few people to give their reasons on why they dislike Duke so much and the responses I got were pretty ridiculous. “Because, I just don’t like them”, one said.
The truth of the matter is, majority of the fans that hate Duke do not have a genuine reason on why. But, how could you hate Duke? They’re not a team from a big city who bought their championship, cough Yankees. They are not a team with a starting lineup filled with top 10 picks in the upcoming NBA Draft. When you really analyze it, Duke is just a basketball team that wins consistently and does it the right way.
The Blue Devils are similar to that one family relative that gets all the attention at parties and gets talked about so much on how perfect they are. It is natural to be jealous sometimes and envy someone. However, if you are going to dislike someone, at least have a legitimate reason and “Because” is not a good one.
If you have nothing on your paper, here are 10 reasons to love Duke.
Duke University is well known for its basketball program. Very few teams have the respect and history that Duke has. It almost seems as if every year Duke is a top dog and in today’s basketball scene, this is very rare. North Carolina went from National Champs, to barely making the NIT tournament. Duke’s consistency, history, and legendary head coach, make their legacy almost untouchable.
2. Respectful Athletes
You rarely see any Duke University athlete ever bad mouth someone or talk trash. Also, you rarely here about any disciplinary issues that go on which makes Duke almost a role model. In a day in age where you hear about numerous athletes getting cut from teams due to academic or disciplinary reasons, Duke has kept a respectful background and done its best to stay that way.
3. Christian Laettner
If you Google the best basketball buzzer beaters in history, Christian Laettner’s name will be in the top of that list. Laettner was the ultimate college basketball star. He is the only player in the history of college basketball to start 4 straight final fours. His jersey was retired and he will always be remembered as one of the greatest college basketball players. Oh yea, by the way, he played for Duke.
4. Academic Profile
Although Duke’s basketball gets most of the spotlight, people tend to forget just how good of an overall university Duke really is. They are always ranked in the top ten in the country when it comes to academics and they also have one of the best graduation rates in division 1 college basketball.
5. Lack of Athleticism
This year’s Duke basketball team was no wear near perfect. They were often called “unathletic” and had a team with not 1 top 20 pick in the upcoming NBA draft. However, they still managed to come out on top due to heart and determination. They are not future NBA stars that will make millions in a few years. They are just a group of kids who know how to play the game, and play it the right way.
6. Cameron Crazies
They are the best fans in college basketball. There is no harder place to play in any college basketball arena than Cameron Indoor Stadium. It is almost surreal how much energy you get just by watching the game and watching the crazies go absolutely fanatical, just from a made free throw.
7. No “one and done”
One of the biggest debates in college basketball right now is the amount of players leaving after their freshmen year in college to go to the pros. In my opinion, this is setting a bad example to our younger society. It’s basically saying that college is not that important. In Duke, you will never see an athlete leaving after just one year to head to the pros. You have to give credit where credit is due and you have to admire that about Duke.
8. Duke & North Carolina
“For every hero, we need a villain.” Duke is involves in quite possibly the biggest rivalry in sports. Every game these two teams play is always played hard and with passion. Whenever the Blue Devils play the Tar Heels, something special happens.
9. Butler Game
Duke’s game against Butler showed just how much passion and heart both teams had. This game proved that Duke is tough and passionate about the sport of basketball. They gave it there all for every single possession and deserved to win their 4th National Championship.
10. Coach K
Mike Krzyzewski is arguably the greatest coach in all of sports. He wins and does it the right way. There is nothing negative about Coach K. I could give you hundreds of reasons about why he is such a good coach, but that would be another article.