Why do people root against Duke?

While aimlessly surfing [blogdex]:http://blogdex.net , I happened upon this brief editorial:
[Down With Duke (washingtonpost.com)]:http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A32015-2005Mar13.html

A lot of people I know are anti-Duke when it comes to basketball, but their sentiments are mostly based on a desire to root “for the underdog” or a some irrational idea that “they win too much.” This Washington Post editorial is, perhaps, a tongue-in-cheek realization of these sentiments. _sigh_

I have to admit that when the Lakers had their all-star lineup, I rooted against them. There was just something about how one team should *not* have such a high concentration of star power. Was this reasoning equally irrational? Perhaps. Perhaps not.

Duke often gets criticized because, well, “it’s no wonder” that it does so well when it has so many McDonald’s All-Americans under its wing. Still, it’s really not that easy. There’s more to winning than good recruiting class, though I won’t argue that it doesn’t hurt. One might point out that UNC gets some pretty decent recruiting results, yet they seem much less targeted than Duke.

Are Dukies arrogant? There’s probably a little bit of that sentiment among them, but I don’t think it’s any more prevalent there than at any other top school. I suppose it’s just that other top schools don’t tend to have good basketball teams. 😉

Coack K is also completely unassailable. I don’t think there’s anyone out there who doesn’t respect him. He really is one of those coaches who brings out the best in his players. His turning down the offer to coach the Lakers was, I believe, a very strong message to the world (and his team) that there are really more important things than money. It would’ve been no shame to accept that offer from the perspective of prestige, profit, or level of play. You gotta love the guy. He doesn’t let success go to his head– I remember a story where some Duke students noticed him at a local Durham eatery, and he invited them to join him.

Anyway, may all your Marches be filled with madness.


  1. Are Dukies arrogant? YES!!!. I worked there for three years and that should have made me a fan, but it did just the opposite. Working in the library put me in contact with basketball players and other students daily. They seem to be convinced that simply being a student at Duke puts them at the right hand of God. The players were the worst. I also spent time at UNC and though they were certainly proud of being students there, they did not seem to believe that they should be given special privileges just for being there. Perhaps it was the difference between a public and private university, but anyway, I’m pulling for UNC all the way.

  2. Hmm, at school, there are certainly more people who hate Duke than those who cheer for it. I don’t really get it. The person I bother when Duke wins a game is the guy who cheers for Maryland. That’s about it. However, when Duke loses, more people like to bother me about it. Well, Duke all the way!

  3. I did get the feeling that many Dukies are arrogant. And it’s probably the arrogant ones who have some belief that they should be treated *specially*, but this is something I’ve found to be par for the course at highly ranked universities. At least the administration doesn’t seem to have the attitude: “You’re very privileged for just being here. If you don’t like it, feel free to leave.”

    Just today I heard someone say that the Duke Blue Devils are the Yankees of college basketball. They do get good recruiting results, but is that the reason? Like I said, other schools get good recruitment too. I’ve also heard that Duke very rarely has players who become superstars of the NBA. *shrug* No, Duke does NOT get all the calls.

  4. I think Duke students are very cool. Most of people I know at Duke are hard working, intelligent, love, care about their community. They know how to enjoy life, too. If most people in USA are similiar to Duke people in Duke, this country will be regarded as a top quality country in many, many things other than its military power and pursue of freedom.