1-2 war is a first in rich history of Duke vs. UNC


DURHAM, N.C. -- To the rich history of the Duke-North Carolina basketball rivalry, add a new chapter.

For the first time, the two will play in a battle of No. 1 vs. No. 2.

Duke vaulted to No. 1 Monday after previous No. 1 UCLA lost to California on Sunday. North Carolina hopped over Kansas to move from No. 4 to No. 2 on the strength of four straight victories. The teams meet tomorrow night in Chapel Hill.

"I'm not sure I like the No. 1 spot," Duke center Cherokee Parks said. "It seems like every time anybody gets the No. 1 spot, something goes wrong. It's like the curse of No. 1."

Duke is the sixth team on top. North Carolina held it twice, but lost it with losses to Massachusetts and Georgia Tech. Arkansas, Kentucky and Kansas also have been No. 1.

"It's an honor, but it's not an accomplishment, an achievement or something you strive to do," said Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski. "It just kind of happens."

Krzyzewski said he was surprised his developing team has risen to such a height this season.

Since 1979-80, there have been 10 No. 1 vs. No. 2 games. No. 1 won eight of them.

The closest Duke and North Carolina have come is No. 1 vs. No. 3. That happened in both meetings in 1986. They split the games, each winning when it was ranked No. 1.

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