Tokyo 2022 (For Real)

Claire McDaniels, sophomore, trains approximately five hours a day and plans to make a splash at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. (Though not literally, of course.) Last year, McDaniels won the 1A/2A Diving State Championship for CHS as a freshman, and she plans to take her talent to the next level.

McDaniels is a competitive diver who sacrifices much of her free time for her sport.

“I go to morning practice on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. And then everyday after school,” said McDaniels. “Practice is two hours in the morning, three at night, and an hour after school on Wednesday and Saturday of weights. On the weekends I train two to four hours in one day,” said McDaniels via email.

She misses first and second period to dive, and last year she left school early for the same reason. To her, the time commitment is worth it.

“I dive at Duke, all the way in Durham. I enjoy it a lot… and I’m very passionate about it,” said McDaniels.

Still, it can be difficult to balance diving and academics.

“I just got back from a trip right now, and I’m kind of dealing with the stress of missing all of [school],” said McDaniels. “[I’ve traveled to] Florida, Texas, South Carolina, across the ocean… England.”

McDaniels’ practices consist of serious stretching, a warm up on the trampoline and tumbling. Finally, she practices the dives that she plans on performing in meets.

McDaniels’ interest in diving first piqued when her family introduced the sport to her at a young age; her brother and mom dove in college.

“I started diving because when I was little I saw my brother dive, and I thought it looked really cool and so I tried it out! Everyone in my family has dove a little bit. During the summer they all asked me to come watch them do their own tricks off our summer league diving board,” said McDaniels in an email.

McDaniels explained that getting into the Olympic trials is often the most difficult part of the Olympic experience.

“We start out with going to regionals, [and] this qualifies us to go to zones. At zones we get qualified for nationals. Then at nationals we go through a prelims, semifinals, and finals type of competition. After nationals you have to score and get a certain place in your age group in order to be qualified to go to trials,” said McDaniels via an email.

Still, her journey isn’t over once she reaches trials.

“At trials you do the same thing as national, and if you place first or second then you get put on the Olympic team and go to the Olympics,” said McDaniels via email.

McDaniels has experience with this process before, and she placed well in important competitions.

“Last year I went through this and got myself qualified for junior world nationals, which are equivalent to the Olympics but are in the opposite years of them, ” said McDaniels.

Although not admitted onto the Olympic team yet, McDaniels is confident that she’ll make the cut and represent America in the upcoming years in diving.

ESPN: A Beloved Network Slowly Dies

The sports network we all know – and used to love – is dying a slow, ugly death. Ratings are down, fan favorites were fired, and journalists are leaning to clickbait to attract viewers — and it will only get worse.

The monopoly ESPN once held on the five major sports (Soccer, Basketball, Baseball, Football and Hockey) is no more. There are simply more outlets and platforms to enjoy sports on. This include sites such as Bleacher Report, Yahoo Sports and even social media platforms like Twitter and Instagram.

A lot of sports fans are no longer forced to wait for their news when they get home, because an alert will pop up right on their phone. Therefore, people are updated on all of the crazy goals, dunks, home-runs, hits and fights throughout the day, so they don’t have to rely on watching Sports Center at night for their daily recap of sports news.

Of course ESPN is a part of the smartphone fad, but in order to get those clicks they must separate themselves. The way they do this, though, is by using yellow journalism: better known as clickbait.

One example of this clickbait was a back-and-forth between Golden State Warriors “star” (another story for another article) Draymond Green and ESPN. A reporter asked Green about the weak competition in the Eastern Conference during the 2016-17 playoffs. Green responded by saying as a fan he enjoys watching good basketball, referencing the Cleveland Cavaliers.

“I like to watch teams playing good basketball. When you watch [the Cavs], you watch one team playing good basketball and everybody else do something. I don’t know what that something is,” said Green

The next day, ESPN released an article titled, “Draymond Green disappointed Cavs’ opponents going down easily.” Green then clarified his statement, sarcastically saying, “so there there goes your headline of the day, “Draymond says ‘Cleveland playing great basketball’”. Let’s see if that one makes it”. Instead, ESPN went with, “Draymond Green critical of media, ‘Says Cavs playing great basketball’”.

While the increasing use of smartphones does explain the daytime talk shows and SportsCenter ratings falling, this does not explain why ESPN’s heralded Monday Night Football ratings have been plummeting too. Since 2013, Monday Night Football has been on a steady decline. Most individuals who enjoy football are home at 8:30 – the time of kickoff – yet the ratings each week continue to decrease.

This is partially the NFL’s fault, because they schedule some of the worst teams to play primetime games. (An example is the Miami Dolphins playing in two Monday night games, during one of which they got crushed 45 to 21 by the Carolina Panthers.)

However, some Monday Night Football matchups did have entertaining potential, such as the Saints, who finished the season 11-5, versus the Vikings, who finished 13-3. When two good teams match up, why aren’t the people watching?

Maybe because people are less interested in football? Partially, but that isn’t the true reason. In actuality, fewer and fewer people have cable. With the advancements in the internet, families are ditching their cable boxes in search of cheaper alter- natives.  These include subscriptions to streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu, CrunchyRoll and more. As time goes on and members of Generation Z all become adults, you can only expect that the death of ESPN is inevitable.

While they may never be able to return to their former glory, there are a few things ESPN can do to regain viewership and respect. They need more entertaining, less cringy show hosts.

The late Stewart Scott would recap games with a certain excitement that fans tuned in to enjoy. Today, people watch ESPN to laugh at Stephen A. Smith yell at the top of his lungs for players to “stay off the weed” and say the word blasphemous over a million times. Part of the problem is that some ESPN’s favorites have either retired or fled to other networks. While childhood nostalgia makes me hope for the best, we should all expect the worst.

Illustration by Ryx Zan

March was too mad for UNC

This past March was filled with crazy upsets that proved to everyone why predictability is never a guarantee. The top bracket on the ESPN bracket challenge didn’t even predict the Elite Eight completely correct. At CHS, the only two brackets to guess the finals correctly were entries from junior Lyon Teesdale, and sophomore Isaac Bryant.

According to the ESPN bracket challenge, only 2.18 percent of people who created a bracket this year predicted the UMBC win over Virginia. Virginia was upset by 20 points, 74 to 54, proving that no game is a guaranteed win for any team.

The next surprise was Loyola Chicago who made it to the Final Four. They haven’t been to the Final since 1963, when they went on to win the National Championship, too. This year, they won each of their first three games with buzzer beaters.

“Gotta cheer for the underdog,” said freshman Max Van Horn, who cheered for Loyola Chicago.

Texas A&M dominated UNC in the second round which was a huge surprise to many. Texas A&M took advantage of their rebounding, physicality and superior size to destroy UNC. UNC also shot 19.4 percent from three and 33.3 percent from the floor, which didn’t help their case. Syracuse was also a surprising team, making it to the Sweet 16 after defeating Michigan State in the round of 32. Florida State also surprised many as they upset high seeds, they beat Gonzaga and Missouri in the first two rounds but also beat the first seed, Xavier, in the West quadrant of the bracket. Three teams with with seeds above eight made it to the elite eight and two top seeds survived to the final four.

This year, UNC was not expected to win it all, but they were predicted to go pretty far in the tournament, especially by Carrboro students. Texas A&M had a different idea. Texas A&M’s group of “big men” proved to be a mismatch against the young UNC centers who were out rebounded by 50 to 36. Although it was a short and sad ending for one North Carolina team, Duke’s talented freshman class led them to the Elite Eight where they played Devonte Graham’s fierce Kansas team. Grayson Allen had the opportunity to send the Blue Devils to the Final Four but he barely missed the game winning shot, which took the game into overtime where his team ended up losing by four.

“I cried tears after the Kansas game,” said sophomore Isabel Simmons, a Duke fan.

“Experience definitely overshadowed talent especially in the Duke vs Kansas game,” said Elijah Jones, junior and also a Duke fan.

It wasn’t the year for any of the main North Carolina college basketball teams, but the experienced Villanova team that destroyed Michigan in the finals 79 to 62.

In the end, March was clustered with surprises and upsets that no one could have foreseen. Despite the unexpected turn of events, it didn’t come as much of a shock to see a strong and disciplined Villanova team go on to win the title, thanks to an amazing performance from Donte Divincenzo. Divincenzo finished the season with 31 points and five rebounds.

Duke and UNC are going to have very young and talented teams but it will be hard to tell whether either of these two teams can win it all because we don’t know how they will play with the majority of the teams being talented freshman.

 

Student Athletes Commit to College

On Wednesday, April 11 three seniors committed to continue their careers as student athletes at the collegiate level. Gabby Addams will play soccer at Carlow University, Quincy Monday will wrestle at Princeton University and Penny Newall will play volleyball at Bryn Mawr College.

All three students were captains this year on their respective sports teams.

Gabby Addams is an Iron Jag, meaning that she participates in at least three sports a year. Addams plays soccer and basketball, runs track and is a cheerleader. She also started a club called Kickin’ it Back, which raises money for disadvantaged soccer programs.

Addams will be missed by her temmates next year.

“She’s been a key for two of our championships so far,” said women’s soccer assistant coach Catherine Duncan during the ceremony.

Quincey Monday is a four-time State Champion in wrestling: twice in Texas, once in Oklahoma and once in North Carolina. He was a member of Carrboro’s first ever State Champion wrestling team last year.

Monday has wrestled a several schools, but Carrboro has a place in his heart.

“I’ve only been here for two years, but I’m glad I got to end here at Carrboro,” said Monday.

Penny Newall coaches a CHAVC club volleyball team in her spare time. She also volunteer with the Unified Volleyball program.

Newall’s coaches and temmates alike admire her dedication to and passion for the sport.

“Every day she comes to practice she’s focused, she’s intense, she’s looking to improve,” said head volleyball coach Steve Scanga.

Addams, Monday and Newall eached thanked their families, coaches and teammates for their support over the past four years

The Jagwire wishes all the athletes success in college.

Photo by Niya Fearrington.

CHS takes on March Madness

In a year full of upsets, buzzer beaters and bracket busters, the NCAA tournament, March 15 to April 2, has reached the height of uncertainty as sixteen-seeded UMBC beat the overall one seed UVA. According to ESPN, the odds of guessing a perfect bracket are 9.2 quintillion to one, a fact reinforced when every bracket created was busted half way through the second round.

Millions of people across the nation have made it a yearly tradition to guess which team gets to hang a shiny new banner. Here at Carrboro High School, the Student Government Association (SGA) has even endorsed an official CHS tournament challenge group which has more than 100 members.

The JagWire staff asked several students participating in the SGA contest about their picks for the 2018 National Champion. Among those interviewed, the largest portion predicted the University of Virginia as the winner, while nearly all said UVA would at least make the Final Four. UNC had the next largest number of votes to make the Final Four and to win it all. Other teams picked to go far included Duke, Michigan State, Kansas and Villanova.

Everyone has their own strategy when it comes to creating their bracket but no matter how much time someone spends on it, he/she is almost guaranteed to be wrong.

“I look back at the season, who [the team] has beaten and lost to,” said Kayla Nesbitt, sophomore, on how she fills out her bracket.

Unfortunately for Kayla and many people like her, it’s called March Madness for a reason. 2018 has been one of the most unpredictable years to date as two one-seeds lost in the first two rounds and two eleven-seeds have made it to the Sweet Sixteen.

“My bracket’s as busted as my AP World Grade,” said Annelise Cox, sophomore, on how she’s doing in the SGA contest.

Keep an eye on the CHS Bracket Brawl by SGA on the ESPN Tournament Challenge app to see who filled out the best bracket and stay tuned to March Madness to see the best team win.

Students and faculty get their heads in the game

On Friday, March 9, the annual student-faculty basketball game will take place in the gymnasium. To make time for the game at the end of the day, there is an adjusted schedule.

Mackenzie Cox, vice president of SGA, explained the significance of the event.

“It’s something we’ve also done, and it’s one of those traditions that you work through, and something you get to in the last point of the year,” said Cox.

At the moment of Cox’s interview, there was only one female teacher signed up for the faculty team.

“I would like to give a shoutout to Mrs. [Robin] Bulleri, because right now she is the only female teacher,” said Cox.

Since then, English teacher Sibel Uzun-Byrnes has signed up to participate as well.

The confirmed list of student players includes Hugo Schuer, Karl Naomi, Neel Mahadevan and Jonah Perrin.

The game consists of two halves that are eight minutes long, with a ten minute halftime show in between. During the half, there is a half court contest composed of representatives from each grade level, as well as a dunk contest.

The student coach is senior Joe Zhang, and the faculty coach is Dexter Croom. Beverly Rudolph, CHS principal, Chad Osborne senior, and Tommy Holt, junior, will serve as referees.

UPDATE: The final score was students 29 and faculty 27.

Photo by Jade Simpson

Strength in the classroom and on the court

Students leave class early for an away game at a distant school. At the school, an exhilarating match takes place in which the Jaguars come out victorious by a close margin. The student athletes are tired from the hard game, but they feel accomplished with their performances and their victory.

The student athletes enjoy each other’s company on the long bus ride with laughs and jokes. When they finally get home, they are ready for a long shower, some good food, and a good night’s sleep. Then, they suddenly realize that they haven’t even started their homework!

It’s a typical moment in the life of a student athlete: someone who dedicates their time and effort to both keeping up their grades and training for the games that everyone loves to watch. With many things to do and not enough hours in the day, these athletes have to effectively manage their time to navigate through the maze of student-athlete stress.

Sydney West, CHS junior, played middle blocker for the varsity volleyball team. During the season, her team practiced for two hours after school and had games twice a week. The travel time associated with the away games makes it imperative that West and other student athletes manage their time to avoid becoming overly-stressed.

West believes that taking challenging classes and competing at a competitive athletic level is definitely a lot of work. Although, the work is also very rewarding. West has dedicated lots of her time to volleyball, and she has no regrets because she loves the sport.

However, she does wonder about what she could do if she had more free time.

“I wish had more time to pursue different hobbies that I’m interested in,” said West.

Ananya Saravanan, CHS sophomore, is a guard for the varsity basketball team. She thinks that basketball is a great experience and well worth the extra stress.

“I play basketball because I love the sport, the team, and it’s a lot of fun,” said Saravanan in an email.

Saravanan shares that playing basketball doesn’t have to be stressful if you make sure to manage your time well and not procrastinate.

“I do feel stressed if I procrastinate on an assignment, but I generally feel that during basketball season I am more productive since I know that I won’t have as much time to accomplish homework,” said Saravanan.

Saravanan enjoys taking academically rigorous classes and knows that these classes have a larger workload associated with them. However, she finds time to keep up with the work during lunches and after practice. Saravanan also shares that basketball coach Sheremy Dillard-Clanton, sometimes gives the athletes study halls to finish their work before practice.

“As long as I balance my free time to do homework and study, it isn’t impossible to accomplish,” said Saravanan.

Symphony Wiggins, CHS senior, is a dedicated cheerleader and sprinter. She shares that sometimes balancing school work and sports can be stressful because you get home later and have less time to do work. However, Wiggins believes that if you utilize your time well and focus, you can get everything done.

“I feel like it’s all a mental thing; if you are determined, you can balance athletics and academics,” said Wiggins in an email.

Overall, Wiggins is content with her schedule because — although she may have less time than desirable to complete her homework — she has found two sports that are incredibly important to her.

Steven Turner, guidance counselor and soccer coach for 27 years, has both the counseling and coaching perspectives on student athlete stress.

“What I find with student athletes in season is that they somehow become super organized and do better academically because they are forced to handle stress and they do a good job of that,” said Turner.

Turner thinks that the best way to avoid negative student athlete stress is to have a planner and other organization tactics.

He also thinks student athletes should talk more with their teachers, family and friends because it is hard to manage a disorganized day on your own.

“The best student athletes do a great job of writing things down and organizing,” said Turner.

Athletics make students more effective time managers since they know that they have more limited time to do their work. Athletes should stay organized and not procrastinate, so they don’t fall behind in academics.

Athletics provides a fun way for student athletes to learn time management and the other valuable life lessons that sports teach.

Sydney West, volleyball player, after a game this season. Photo by Grace Hegland

Sports and socioeconomics. One in the Same?

Sports are something that can be performed by anyone, no matter their race, gender, ethnicity or background. But, even with the improvement in equality in our society, there are still differences that separate people on the field, court and arena.

In the NFL (National Football League), over 70 percent of the athletes are African-American. In NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) lacrosse, only 1.9 percent of the athletes are African-American. Is it just coincidence? In tennis, only four players of the top ATP (Association of Tennis Professionals) 100 in 2010 were non-White, while in the NBA (National Basketball Association), 70-75 percent of the athletes are African-American. These sports clearly have racial disparities, whether they are or aren’t intentional.

While there are many factors that could contribute to these differences, including traditions, representation on television and outreach programs, there is one lens — privilege — that may explain some of the disparities.

Some examples of sports that are more accessible for privileged athletes are lacrosse, tennis, and volleyball, while sports that are more accessible for mostly less privileged athletes are basketball and football. What divides these sports at their core is the expenses involved in them.

The first major expense in many sports is gear. In lacrosse, for example, there is so much gear that is needed to just play the sport, including a stick, pads, helmets, balls to practice with and goals to practice on. A stick itself is about $150- 200 for decent quality, while higher-quality helmets are around the same price. Different types of equipment will vary in price, but it is all overly expensive in the end. Fortunately, there are scholarships involved to some people who are interested in playing the sport.

Even in sports with less gear, costs can mount because of the common practice of taking personal lessons. In tennis, for example, the essential equipment includes a tennis racket and tennis balls . But the most common way to increase your skill at tennis is by practicing and taking lessons. The prices differ based on where you take the lessons, but a two-hour clinic with about 20 other players can cost around $40. For example, at the Chapel Hill Tennis Club, a one-hour tennis lesson will cost $71. Most tennis courts are part of a tennis club, so there is usually a fee for renting a court and being a non-member at those clubs. A membership will cost even more, which is something usually that is only for higher classed people.

Club sports and tournaments command an entry fee as well. Travel team membership is the primary cost for both of these sports. According to Parker Zinn, a sophomore for the Carrboro team and a competitive club athlete, a volleyball tournament usually cost around $40-50 per person. A USTA tennis tournament in the Chapel Hill area can cost anywhere from $50-70.

There are much cheaper options such as football and basketball. The gear for football is provided by the school or team, while basketball has little gear at all. The easiest ways to practice for these sports are free, by finding a court for a pick-up game or a field to play a four v. four game with friends. While there are many prep schools to partake in for athletes that play football and basketball, players do not have to be successful to go through these prestigious programs. Some of the NFL’s most prestigious athletes attended public schools, such as Jarvis Landry, Carson Wentz, and Khalil Mack.

According to Braden Hunter, a football player for the Carrboro team, it is very cheap to play football at the school, with gear only costing around $20 dollars. The school supplies equipment such as pads and a helmet, which comes out to about $20 dollars per person to rent these. While the school supplies equipment for football, it does not supply equipment for tennis.

“All you need is your equipment for a practice,” said Hunter. “Another way to practice is to go out and throw a football, or play a game with friends.”

Why is it that the majority of these sports have clear disparities?

High schools, professional organizations, and teams clearly need to take steps in order to reverse this effect. The only question: how?

Illustration by Nina Scott-Farquharson

What the Panthers need

As the Panthers’ season came to a close, Panthers fans are now eager to see who the next majority owner will be.

Jerry Richardson, the current owner of the Panthers, grew up playing football in North Carolina, then continued his career at Wofford College in Spartanburg, South Carolina. In 1987, after the NBA brought an expansion team to Charlotte, Richardson met with supporters to discuss bringing an NFL team to both North and South Carolina. Politicians from both Carolinas lobbied to the other owners to support their expansion. Richardson financed the construction of the stadium, in Charlotte, that would seat 70,000 fans.

In 1992, the NFL announced the Carolinas would have an extension team. The following season the NFL owners voted, and it was decided that the 29th NFL team would be in Charlotte. Richardson was the majority owner for 23 seasons. Just before the Panthers kicked off against the Green Bay Packers on December 17, Sports Illustrated released an article reporting that Richardson would go from office to office asking female co-workers to show him their rear ends. Richardson later announced that he would sell the team at the conclusion of the season. So now the burning question is: Who will the new owner be?

Whoever the owner will be, all of Panther Nation should keep in mind the following wishes for the next ownership.

1: Replace The NFL Shield Logo.

There are only two stadiums in the NFL that do not sport their team logo in between the 45 yard lines. The first of which is Metlife Stadium, which hosts two NFL teams, so it’s easier to have the NFL’s shield at midfield than to change it week to week. The second is the Carolina Panthers, who have no reason why besides the fact that Richardson thought that’s how it should be.

2: Value winning over the “team image.”

Prior to the Panthers drafting Cam Newton, Richardson asked Cam Newton if he had and tattoos or piercings. Newton answered “no” and Richardson responded, “Let’s keep it that way.” He was also told former tight end Jeremy Shockey that he liked his attitude, but that he’d be better without all of his tattoos. The next owner should keep their views away from the team, and allow the team’s image to take a backseat to winning football games.

3: Value Winning over Personal Relationships.

In 2010, the Carolina Panthers went 1-15, after which Richardson “cleaned house”, meaning he fired everyone. However, this did not include Marty Hurney, the general manager—known to be a good friend of Richardson. Hurney was fired after the team lost five out of the first six games in favor of Dave Gettleman. Gettleman had his own problems as the General Manager, but he assembled a 15-1 roster, as well as fixed the horrendous financial issues that Hurney put the team in.

The following season was disappointing, and because of it Richardson fired Gettleman, and named none other than his good friend Marty Hurney back to his old office position.

Now that Richardson will be out as the owner, the Panthers can move forward to be perennial Super Bowl contenders. The team will be relieved of the pressures that Richardson placed on the coaching staff and players to look and act a certain way. This allows a wider range of players to be targeted which will lead the Panthers to the Super Bowl win that they deserve.

Opinion: battle of the bluebloods

Once upon a time, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Duke were not rivals. Fans did not hate each other, students did not camp outside for weeks just to get tickets, and people’s psychological well-being did not hang in the balance of 40 minutes of basketball. Now, nearly 100 years after the very first meeting of these two teams (UNC won by eleven,) the rivalry is the best in the NCAA.

Photo courtesy Charlotte Ellis

This leads to the question, which team is better? The answer is obviously the UNC Tar Heels. Not only do the Heels have more National Championships (7-5), more Final Four visits (20-16) and more ACC Regular Season titles (30-19), but they also lead the all-time series 136-110. And oh yeah, the Heels won the most recent meeting between the two teams 82-78. After being down four at the half, UNC dominated the last 20 mintues commiting only two turnovers and grabbing nearly 70 percent of total offensive rebounds. Senior Theo Pinson closed out the game by dunking the ball in front of the electric student section which led one of the best crowds the Smith Center has ever seen.

Duke also has a long history of recruiting aggressive players. Walk into Kentucky’s Rupp arena on any given night, and you’ll find numerous fans wearing “I still hate Laettner” t-shirts. Who doesn’t love making fun of Grayson Allen’s joke-of-a-suspension after tripping three different players. And let’s not forget the time Gerald Henderson broke Tyler Hansbrough’s nose.

Speaking of Henderson, he and Hansbrough now run a podcast called the Tobacco Road Pod in which they discuss all things Carolina and Duke. The very first episode is called “The Incident” where the two explain their own side of that bloody moment. Henderson does his best to defend his actions but ends up inadvertently admitting to punching Hansbrough on purpose.

“If you look at the replay, my eyes are closed,” said Henderson during the podcast. “I just wildly took a swipe down… it wasn’t my intent to hit your face but I was hitting anything that came in that direction.”

Since when do you get to punch someone and then claim that it wasn’t your fault because their face got in the way of your fist? Even the coaching legend Coach K refuses to discipline Henderson, claiming that the game was already over and that Hansbrough shouldn’t have been playing.

Unlike the usual tactics of Duke staff, Carolina is creating a family atmosphere that even toddlers can enjoy. Ian Williams, author of the iconic “Why I Hate Dook” column that runs in the Daily Tar Heel, illustrates that point through his daughter.

“When [Hansbrough] would shoot foul shots, and the TV would show that he was sweating, [my daughter] would take one of her little tissues and wipe his face on the TV screen,” said Williams in an interview via email.

You don’t see too many three-year-olds running around in a Henderson jersey pretending to punch people so that they can feel closer to their idol.

Despite their intense history, Henderson and Hansbrough seem to have a genuine respect for one another, or at least a respect for each other’s accomplishments. After all, their days of playing college basketball are over.

Isabel Simmons, CHS sophomore, is a self-confessed fan of the Tobacco Road podcast.

“I think that it promotes a sense of unity, [because] it shows that even two people involved in one of the most contentious events in the UNC vs. Duke rivalry can come together. And if that can happen, then it really gives me hope for the rest of the world,” Simmons said.

One of the greatest games of the rivalry came on March 2, 1974 in Carmichael arena. The Heels trailed the Blue Devils by eight with seventeen seconds remaining, making it a four possession game as this was before the three point line. At this point, most coaches would have given up, but not Dean Smith. It started with Bobby Jones sinking a pair of free throws, followed by two Duke turnovers resulting in Carolina baskets.

After Duke missed the front end of a one-and-one, the Heels managed to get the ball to Walter Davis who sunk an NBA-range three at the buzzer to send the game to overtime, where the Heels won by four. Moments like these are only produced by a rivalry as great as theirs.

Throughout the long history of the Tobacco Road Rivalry there have only been two things that both teams can agree on: NC State sucks, and people who say they “don’t care” about basketball are crazy. As long as the game continues, the Battle of the Blues will too. Students will build bonfires, fans will sit in their lucky seat, and friends will become enemies for one night of basketball glory. No matter what happens on the court, the rivalry will always be among the most intense in all of sports.