Skip Global Navigation to Main Content
In Brief

North Carolina's Basketball Rivalry

11 June 2012

Students painted in blue lunging toward camera (AP Images)

North Carolina’s “Research Triangle” has the world’s most doctoral degrees per capita; it also has diehard basketball fans.

North Carolina has the highest number of doctoral degrees per capita in the world — in part because it is home to the “Research Triangle,” an education and research consortium of the University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill, Duke University and North Carolina State University. But research is not the only thing these schools are known for: They have one of the United States’ most heated athletic rivalries.

Nicknamed the Battle of Tobacco Road, the rivalry between Durham’s Duke University Blue Devils (above, Blue Devil fans) and Chapel Hill’s North Carolina Tar Heels is most intense on the men’s basketball court. Located less than eight miles apart, the two schools have played against each other 234 times, with UNC winning 132 of those matchups.

Combined, they have won nine national championships and have sent dozens of players into the National Basketball Association, including UNC’s Michael Jordan. In fact, the 2012 NBA playoffs featured eight former Tar Heels and eight former Blue Devils.

Find out more about North Carolina at DiscoverAmerica.com.