Luke DeCock

NC State’s win overshadows a milestone day (and it wasn’t a good milestone) for UNC and Duke

Duke forward Wendell Carter Jr (34) attempyts to break towards the basket as Virginia guard Kyle Guy (5) and center Jack Salt (33) defend in the first half. Duke battled Virginia at Cameron Indoor Stadium In Durham, N.C., Saturday, Jan. 27, 2018
Duke forward Wendell Carter Jr (34) attempyts to break towards the basket as Virginia guard Kyle Guy (5) and center Jack Salt (33) defend in the first half. Duke battled Virginia at Cameron Indoor Stadium In Durham, N.C., Saturday, Jan. 27, 2018 cliddy@newsobserver.com

N.C. State was one of the instigators the last time Duke and North Carolina both lost at home on the same day. None of the players who had a role in making that happen again Saturday were alive then: Feb. 21, 1973. Neither were some of their parents.

It says a lot about the dueling dynasties of North Carolina and Duke that it took almost 45 years for it to happen again, so long ago that one of the venues where it occurred Saturday didn't even exist yet.

You can't call it Black Saturday, because there was plenty of joy within the confines of the Triangle, thanks to N.C. State.

But you could call it Blue Saturday, because for two differing shades of that hue, there was plenty to feel blue about.

As much at any point of midseason, if not more, since Duke lost to N.C. State at Cameron Indoor Stadium and North Carolina lost to Miami (Ohio) at Carmichael Auditorium on that February 1973 day.

Two hours after the Tar Heels fell 95-91 to the Wolfpack in overtime at the Smith Center, Duke fell victim to Virginia, 65-63, in a game that essentially delivered the ACC regular-season title to the Cavaliers – Duke's first loss to Virginia at Cameron since 1995, a long enough run in itself, but one that pales in comparison to the other that fell along with it Saturday.

Sports columnist Luke DeCock: 919-829-8947, ldecock@newsobserver.com, @LukeDeCock

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