Everything You Need to Know About the Duke-UNC Basketball Rivalry

There's no bigger rivalry in college sports than Duke vs North Carolina in basketball. Here's everything you need to know ahead of the next meeting between these two legendary schools.

Mar 13, 2011; Greensboro, NC, USA; Duke Blue Devils head coach Mike Krzyzewski shakes hands with
Mar 13, 2011; Greensboro, NC, USA; Duke Blue Devils head coach Mike Krzyzewski shakes hands with / Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
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There's no bigger rivalry in college basketball than the Duke Blue Devils and North Carolina Tar Heels. No matter which side you support, that matchup is a game you circle on the schedule as soon as it's announced. And even neutral fans tend to have a close eye on that one.

The proximity helps. The history of the programs helps. But what really makes this so unique is that no rivalry is consistently contested by elite teams as often as this one.

With one of the season's biggest games on tap for Saturday, let's go over everything you need to know about this rivalry.

Duke vs. UNC All-Time Head-to-Head Record & Stats

The Duke Blue Devils and North Carolina Tar Heels basketball teams have 191 all-time head-to-head meetings. North Carolina holds a series lead, with 102 wins compared to 89 from Duke.

Over all of these games, only 39 points have separated the two teams. UNC has out-scored Duke by an average of 76.1 to 75.9 points per game, for a differential of just +0.2 points per game. That's about as close as you could ask for.

All-time in the series, Duke has scored 14,492 points, compared to 14,531 for North Carolina.

The longest win streak between the two teams is the 16-game streak UNC put together from 1921-28.

ACC Championship Meetings and History

The ACC Men's Basketball Championship has been played since 1954, with just one year (2020) skipped in that entire time. That leaves 69 championships having been awarded. Duke has won a conference-leading 22 of those titles. North Carolina is second with 18, while North Carolina State is a distant third with 10.

Duke and UNC have met in the ACC Championship game on 11 occasions, with North Carolina winning 6 to Duke's 5. Below is a full list of their ACC Championship meetings.

Year

Winner

Runner-Up

Score

1967

UNC

Duke

82-73

1969

UNC

Duke

85-74

1979

UNC

Duke

71-63

1988

Duke

UNC

65-61

1989

UNC

Duke

77-74

1991

UNC

Duke

96-74

1992

Duke

UNC

94-74

1998

UNC

Duke

83-68

1999

Duke

UNC

96-73

2001

Duke

UNC

79-53

2011

Duke

UNC

75-58

Duke vs UNC March Madness History

While neither Duke nor UNC holds the record for most all-time NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament championships (an honor that belongs to UCLA, with 11), they do both rank top-five. Here's a comparison of how the two schools have fared in the tournament.

School

Champions

Championship Appearances

Final 4

Elite 8

Sweet 16

Appearances

North Carolina

6

12

21

29

37

52

Duke

5

11

17

23

32

45

Has UNC Played Duke in the NCAA Tournament?

Duke and UNC have met in the NCAA Tournament only once — a 2022 Final Four matchup that North Carolina won 81-77.

Prior to that, the teams had one postseason meeting: a 1971 National Invitation Tournament (NIT) semifinal matchup, which UNC won 73-67.

Biggest Blowouts in Duke vs UNC History

North Carolina holds the biggest blowout win in the history of the rivalry, but you have to go way back (way way back) to 1921 to find that score. UNC blew Duke out by a margin of 37 points, earning a 55-18 win. If you're not impressed by what UNC managed to do shooting the ball into a peach basket, their biggest blowout of the modern era was a 25-point win in 1980.

Duke's biggest blowout win over UNC happened in 1964 when they earned a 104-69 win (35-point differential).