When UNC and Duke take the floor of Brooklyn’s Barclays Center on Friday night in the ACC tournament’s semifinals, all eyes will be on two teams that are entering in almost a dead heat.
The rivalry between the two basketball powerhouses is one of the biggest in college basketball and will probably grab some of the highest ratings of the year. What pours even more hype on Friday’s meeting, is the nearly identical stats of the two teams.
When Duke met North Carolina in the Dean Smith Center last Saturday, more than 4.1 million viewers tuned in, making it the most-watched regular season college basketball game in the last two seasons in any network, an ESPN press release said.
Tip-off is at 7 p.m. and can be seen on WRAL and ESPN.
UNC’s 90-83 win over Duke last Saturday marked the third-consecutive season that a game between the two teams has been college basketball’s most watched game of the year.
Duke’s 86-78 win over North Carolina on Feb. 9 was viewed by 3.2 million, the fourth-highest of the year.
Before the first game this season, UNC and Duke had won the same number of games since 1979 and had each scored 7,437 points in their previous 96 meetings over 38 years. Now, two games later, they’ve still won the same number of games since 1979, and Duke has a one point edge at 7,606.
This is the fourth time since 2000 that UNC and Duke will play in the ACC tournament. Duke won in 2002, 2003 and 2011. UNC and Duke played in the ACC tournament in 1999 (Duke win) and 1998 (UNC win), and in 1992 (Duke win) and 1991 (UNC win). Overall, this is the 19th time that UNC and Duke are meeting in the ACC tournament. Duke has won 11 of the other 18.