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Duke–Michigan men's basketball rivalry

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The Duke–Michigan men's basketball rivalry is a college basketball rivalry between the Duke Blue Devils men's basketball team of Duke University and Michigan Wolverines men's basketball team of the University of Michigan. The two teams played annual, regularly scheduled contests between 1963 and 1970 and between 1989 and 2002. They also scheduled meetings in 2007 and 2008 and had a 2013 ACC–Big Ten Challenge contest as the most recent meeting. In addition, the teams have had five unscheduled meetings in tournaments, three of which were in the NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament including the 1992 National Championship Game.[1][2] Two of the five tournament meetings occurred in 2011.

Duke–Michigan men's basketball rivalry
First meetingDecember 21, 1963
Michigan 83, Duke 67
Latest meetingDecember 3, 2013
Duke 79, Michigan 69
Next meetingTBD
Meetings total30
All-time seriesDuke leads, 22–8
Largest victoryDuke 108–64 (1998)
Longest win streakDuke, 7 (1998–2008)
Current win streakDuke, 3 (2011–present)

In March 2011, the rivalry was refueled by media commentary related to the ESPN Films documentary entitled The Fab Five. The latest meeting between the teams occurred in the 2013 ACC–Big Ten Challenge, a game on December 3, which Duke won, 79–69.[3]

Historical overviewEdit

John Beilein (left) and Mike Krzyzewski (right) in 2013

Duke regards the rivalry as far less significant than the Carolina–Duke rivalry.[4] The Duke–Michigan rivalry is fueled by the fact that both institutions strive to be premier academic institutions with solid reputations for producing scholars and student athletes rather than just athletic powerhouses.[5] Duke and Michigan have played one another in men's basketball 30 times. The teams have played twice in the same season three times: 1963–64, 1991–92, and 2008–09. Michigan has played Duke more times than they have any other school outside of the state of Michigan that has never been a member of the Big Ten Conference. In turn, Duke's 30 games against Michigan are the most they have played any other school outside of the Maryland-Virginia-North Carolina-South Carolina region that has never been a member of the Atlantic Coast Conference. Eight of the meetings between Duke and Michigan have featured opponents both ranked in the top ten in the AP Poll; six times both teams were ranked in the top five. Michigan has not faced any of its fellow conference members as many times with both participants so highly ranked.[1][2]

The Cazzie Russell-led 1963–64 Wolverines were known for its "Bloody Nose Alley" defense, while the Jeff Mullins-led 1963–64 Blue Devils were regarded as a team that "played in tuxedos". Duke had lost National player of the year, NBA first overall selection, NCAA Basketball Tournament Most Outstanding Player Art Heyman from the previous year's final four team.[6] The rivalry began on December 21, 1963, when the 1963–64 Wolverines hosted the 1963–64 Blue Devils at the Yost Fieldhouse, while winning 83–67.[1][2][5] Duke starting center Jay Buckley had been described in the press as the weak link in the loss, earning the nickname "Link" from his teammates.[6] That Duke team avenged the game later in the season in the 1964 NCAA Final Four with a 91–80 victory.[1][2][5] Buckley contributed 25 points and 14 rebounds against 19 points and 9 rebounds from Bill Buntin.[6] After the tournament defeat, the 1964–65 Wolverines came back with double-doubles from Russell, Buntin and Oliver Darden to defeat the 1964–65 Blue Devils 86–79 the following December.[7] The teams met every December until 1970, when they went 19 years without playing.[1][2][5]

Starting in 1989, the teams renewed their annual rivalry games. The defending national champion Terry Mills/Rumeal Robinson/Loy Vaught-led 1989–90 Wolverines hosted the 1989–90 Blue Devils at Crisler Arena with a 113–108 overtime victory, which began annual December contests that continued until 2002. The Christian Laettner/Grant Hill/Bobby Hurley-led 1991–92 Blue Devils were defending national champions during the 1991 contest against the Fab Five-led 1991–92 Wolverines and won in overtime by an 88–85 margin. These teams held a rematch at the 1992 NCAA Final Four that Duke won by a 71–51 margin to repeat as national champions.[1][2][5] Another memorable finish was when the 1996–97 Michigan team's Robert Traylor made the game winning dunk with three seconds left against the 1996–97 Duke Blue Devils.[8] On the same day Charles Woodson won the Heisman Trophy against Peyton Manning, making for a memorable Michigan sports day.[7] The 2000–01 Wolverines made a show of a pregame stomp on the Duke Blue Devil's logo before the tipoff. The NBA talent-laded 2000–01 Blue Devils responded by opening the game with a 34–2 run to open the game.[7] During this run, Tommy Amaker served as an assistant to Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski until 1997 and then became Michigan head coach of the 2001–02 Wolverines and 2002–03 Wolverines who lost 104–83 and 81–59, respectively before the annual contests ended.[1][2][9]

"Schools like Duke didn't recruit players like me," explains Jalen Rose in the video. "I felt that they only recruited black players that were Uncle Toms. ... I was jealous of Grant Hill. He came from a great black family. Congratulations. Your mom went to college and was roommates with Hillary Clinton. Your dad played in the NFL as a very well-spoken and successful man. I was upset and bitter that my mom had to bust her hump for 20-plus years. I was bitter that I had a professional athlete that was my father that I didn't know. I resented that, moreso than I resented him. I looked at it as they are who the world accepts and we are who the world hates."

Jalen Rose[10][11]

The teams scheduled December contests in both 2007 and 2008 and have also met in tournaments in 2008 and 2011.[1][2] The unranked 2008–09 Wolverines completed a pair of back-to-back victories over top five opponents with an 81–73 victory over the 2008–09 Blue Devils, marking the first time Michigan had accomplished the feat. The game included 11 lead changes and 16 ties. The close contest allowed the fans to play a part as they forced Duke to use a time out to quiet the noisy crowd late in the second half.[12]

"To hint that those who grew up in a household with a mother and father are somehow less black than those who did not is beyond ridiculous. All of us are extremely proud of the current Duke team, especially Nolan Smith. He was raised by his mother, plays in memory of his late father and carries himself with the pride and confidence that they instilled in him. . .

I caution my fabulous five friends to avoid stereotyping me and others they do not know in much the same way so many people stereotyped them back then for their appearance and swagger. I wish for you the restoration of the bond that made you friends, brothers and icons.

I am proud of my family. I am proud of my Duke championships and all my Duke teammates. And, I am proud I never lost a game against the Fab Five."

Grant Hill[11]

On March 13, 2011, the ESPN Films' The Fab Five debuted as the highest-rated ESPN documentary of all time.[13] The film spawned critical commentary in a broad spectrum of media outlets which include leading newspapers such as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post; leading periodicals such as Forbes; online forums such as Slate; and leading news outlets such as MSNBC. In particular, the film sparked an exchange of words war between Jalen Rose and Duke University's Grant Hill through the media regarding issues of race in sports and education. Among those critical of the racial commentary was Duke player Grant Hill, who was cited in an Associated Press story that ran in major national media outlets.[14] Hill blogged on The New York Times with a response naming a litany of Dukies castigated by Rose's general aspersions.[15] His response was at the top of The New York Times' "most-emailed list" for several days and was shared on Facebook by nearly 100,000 people within its first few days.[16] King responded to Hill in The Wall Street Journal, clarifying that his feelings about Duke were what he felt as a teenager and not representative of his current beliefs.[17] Coincidentally, the following week, 2011 editions of Michigan and Duke met in the third round of the 2011 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament.[18] The press described this event as the renewal of the rivalry although people associated with both institutions downplayed the relevance of the film.[19][20][21]

On March 15, 2015, ESPN Films released another 30 for 30 documentary entitled I Hate Christian Laettner in which both Laettner and his Duke teammate and roommate Brian Davis also responded to Rose's earlier remarks. Brian Davis replied, "You know, they talk all this Uncle Tom sh** and, you know, I'm like, I'm more hood and street than any mother f***** on that team. To say that about us, we knew it was ridiculous. Because they all wanted to go to Duke. Chris Webber visited Duke and stayed with me." Laettner continued: "Not all of us at Duke were from the entitled families. I wasn't. Bobby Hurley wasn't. Thomas Hill wasn't. Brian Davis wasn't. The only person that was, was Grant Hill. Besides that, we were blue collar kids, too."[22]

Although the schools do not share geographic proximity, which would induce frequent recruiting battles, there have been some high-profile recruits that were heavily targeted by both institutions. Chris Webber, Michigan's Mr. Basketball in 1991 and the National High School player of the year, chose Michigan over Duke and eventually became the #1 pick in the 1993 NBA Draft after playing two seasons for the Wolverines.[23] Duke returned the favor by gaining a commitment from Michigan-raised Detroit Country Day alum Shane Battier, the 1997 Mr. Basketball of Michigan, who led Duke's 2001 National Championship team, while sweeping all of the National Player of the Year awards.[24] Battier had been a fan of the Fab Five growing up.[25] More recently, Michigan landed Mitch McGary, who had visited only Michigan, Duke and University of North Carolina.[26]

In the 2013 contest, 10th-ranked Duke entered the game playing its 220th consecutive contest as a top-10 team in the AP poll and defending a 106-game consecutive non-conference home game winning streak.[27] 22nd-ranked Michigan entered the game having played 80 consecutive games (44 consecutive weeks)[28] as a ranked team. Coming off a loss to Arizona,[29] Duke was at risk of it first consecutive non-conference losses since November 1999 and its first ever ACC–Big Ten Challenge home loss in six contests. However, Duke bounced back to win 79-69 behind 24 points and 9 assists from Quinn Cook.[30] Michigan's loss and fall from the polls ended the sixth longest active streak of poll membership.[28]

Game resultsEdit

Duke victoriesMichigan victoriesTie games
No.DateLocationWinning teamLosing team
1 December 21, 1963 Ann Arbor, MI Michigan (#3) 83 Duke (#5) 67
2 March 20, 1964 Kansas City, MO (NCAA Semifinal) Duke (#3) 91 Michigan (#2) 80
3 December 5, 1964 Durham, NC Michigan (#1) 86 Duke (#5) 79
4 December 21, 1965 Detroit, MI Duke (#1) 100 Michigan (#3) 93
5 December 3, 1966 Durham, NC Duke (#4) 96 Michigan 75
6 December 6, 1967 Ann Arbor, MI Duke 93 Michigan 90
7 December 9, 1968 Durham, NC Michigan 90 Duke (#16) 80
8 December 10, 1969 Ann Arbor, MI Duke 73 Michigan 68
9 December 7, 1970 Durham, NC Duke (#13) 95 Michigan 74
10 December 9, 1989 Ann Arbor, MI Michigan (#8) 113 Duke (#6) 108
11 December 8, 1990 Durham, NC Duke (#5) 75 Michigan 68
12 December 14, 1991 Ann Arbor, MI Duke (#1) 88 Michigan (#18) 85
13 April 6, 1992 Minneapolis, MN (NCAA Final) Duke (#1) 71 Michigan (#15) 51
14 December 5, 1992 Durham, NC Duke (#4) 79 Michigan (#1) 68
15 December 11, 1993 Ann Arbor, MI Duke (#4) 73 Michigan (#3) 63
16 December 10, 1994 Durham, NC Duke (#9) 69 Michigan (#23) 59
17 December 9, 1995 Ann Arbor, MI Michigan (#22) 88 Duke (#18) 84
18 December 8, 1996 Durham, NC Michigan (#7) 62 Duke (#10) 61
19 December 13, 1997 Ann Arbor, MI Michigan 81 Duke (#1) 73
20 December 12, 1998 Durham, NC Duke (#3) 108 Michigan 64
21 December 11, 1999 Ann Arbor, MI Duke (#14) 104 Michigan 97
22 December 9, 2000 Durham, NC Duke (#1) 104 Michigan 61
23 December 8, 2001 Ann Arbor, MI Duke (#1) 104 Michigan 83
24 December 7, 2002 Durham, NC Duke (#4) 81 Michigan 59
25 December 8, 2007 Durham, NC Duke (#6) 95 Michigan 67
26 November 21, 2008 New York, NY (Coaches vs. Cancer Classic) Duke (#10) 71 Michigan 56
27 December 6, 2008 Ann Arbor, MI Michigan 81 Duke (#4) 73
28 March 20, 2011 Charlotte, NC (NCAA Third Round) Duke (#3) 73 Michigan 71
29 November 22, 2011 Lahaina, HI (Maui Invitational Semifinal) Duke (#6) 82 Michigan (#15) 75
30 December 3, 2013 Durham, NC (ACC-Big Ten Challenge) Duke (#10) 79 Michigan (#22) 69
Series: Duke leads 22–8



  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Michigan Men's Basketball History: History & Record Book: All-Time Series Records" (PDF). CBS Interactive. March 24, 2014. Retrieved November 5, 2014.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h "2011-12 Duke Men's Basketball Media Guide" (PDF). Duke University. Retrieved November 20, 2011.
  3. ^ "No. 10 Duke rebounds from Arizona loss to grind out win vs. Michigan". ESPN. Associated Press. December 3, 2013. Retrieved December 5, 2013.
  4. ^ Cohen, Rachel (December 5, 1996). "Duke, Michigan do battle in round nine of fierce rivalry". The Chronicle. Retrieved November 23, 2011.
  5. ^ a b c d e Grialou, Steve (December 1999). "Hardwood Feud: The Heated Basketball Rivalry of Michigan-Duke". CBS Interactive. Retrieved November 21, 2011.
  6. ^ a b c "Duke Set to Renew On-Court Rivalry With Michigan". Duke University. December 3, 2013. Retrieved December 3, 2013.
  7. ^ a b c Baumgardner, Nick (December 3, 2013). "6 memorable Michigan-Duke bouts: Fab Five I, II and III, Robert Traylor, Charles Woodson and the center court stomp(ing)". Retrieved December 4, 2013.
  8. ^ Grialou, Steve (December 9, 1999). "The Heated Men's Basketball Rivalry of Michigan-Duke". CBS Interactive. Retrieved November 22, 2013.
  9. ^ Goodstein, Raphael (March 29, 2001). "Players pleased with Martin's decision". Michigan Daily. Retrieved November 21, 2011.
  10. ^ "The Fab Five: Hating Duke". ESPN. March 10, 2011. Archived from the original on March 16, 2011. Retrieved March 18, 2011.
  11. ^ a b Abbott, Henry (March 16, 2011). "Grant Hill and the Fab Five". ESPN. Retrieved March 17, 2011.
  12. ^ ESPN Internet Ventures. Sims scores career-high 28 as Michigan limits Duke's outside effectiveness; December 6, 2008 [Retrieved December 6, 2008].
  13. ^ Weisman, Jon (March 16, 2011). "'Fab Five' sets ratings record for ESPN". Variety. Retrieved March 17, 2011.
  14. ^ "Hill Takes Issue In Fab Five Flap". Washington Times. March 16, 2011. Retrieved June 8, 2011.
  15. ^ Hill, Grant (March 16, 2011). "Grant Hill's Response to Jalen Rose". The New York Times. Retrieved March 17, 2011.
  16. ^ "'Uncle Tom' Remark Exposes Pain in Black Community". Associated Press. March 18, 2011. Retrieved March 19, 2011.
  17. ^ Everson, Darren (March 16, 2011). "Fab Five Member Responds to Hill". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved March 18, 2011.
  18. ^ "Blue Devils outlast Michigan to reach Sweet 16, give Mike Krzyzewski win No. 900". ESPN. March 20, 2011. Retrieved March 20, 2011.
  19. ^ Bernstein, Viv (March 21, 2011). "Duke-Michigan Rivalry Renewed With Same Result". The New York Times. p. D5. Retrieved November 21, 2011.
  20. ^ Giannotto, Mark (March 19, 2011). "NCAA tournament: Duke, Michigan focused on their on-court rivalry". The Washington Post. Retrieved November 21, 2011.
  21. ^ Wojnowski, Bob (March 19, 2011). "Michigan gets chance to rekindle Duke rivalry". Detroit News. Retrieved November 21, 2011.
  22. ^ ESPN (March 4, 2015). "30 for 30: I Hate Christian Laettner -Michigan". ESPN. Retrieved May 1, 2015.
  23. ^ "WEBBER COMMITS TO MICHIGAN". St. Paul Pioneer Press. March 24, 1991. Retrieved November 23, 2011.
  24. ^ Staff (October 22, 1996). "Battier commits to Duke". The Chronicle. Retrieved November 23, 2011.
  25. ^ Araton, Harvey (June 19, 2012). "Split by Rivalry, United in Bid for a Ring". The New York Times. Retrieved March 1, 2013.
  26. ^ Snyder, Mark (October 4, 2011). "Recruit Mitch McGary narrows choices to Michigan, Duke and North Carolina". USA Today. Retrieved November 18, 2011.
  27. ^ "MBB Game Notes: vs. Michigan (Dec. 3, 2013)". Duke University. December 2, 2013. Retrieved December 3, 2013.
  28. ^ a b "Arizona Wildcats move to No. 1". ESPN. December 9, 2013. Retrieved December 9, 2013.
  29. ^ "No. 4 Arizona edges Duke to win NIT Season Tip-Off". ESPN. November 29, 2013. Retrieved December 3, 2013.
  30. ^ Chroust, Kevin (December 2, 2013). "Michigan-Duke Preview". Yahoo! Sports. Retrieved December 3, 2013.