A Road of Excellence
March is the favorite month for most college basketball lovers. It is the time when the strong knock out the weak and the die-hard fans either scream or cry. It is March Madness.
Every team prays to make it to the championships but one team always stands in the way. They are the one that everyone wants to be and the one that everyone fears. They are the Duke Blue Devils. Lead by twelve time Coach of the Year winner Mike Krzyzewski, the Blue Devils have been molded into the best college franchise of all time. The Blue Devils can be quite intimidating if you are not one of them.
In a total of thirty-one seasons under Coach K, they have had a total of twenty-six NCAA tournament teams, twelve conference titles, eleven Final Four teams, and four National Championship titles. It is not an understatement when people say that they simply outclass everyone. What actually pushes them and Coach K above everyone else is not their NCAA tournament achievements but their NBA Draft Pick statistic against active coaches; a shocking forty-one to two. That is more than twenty times higher than any active coach. That is not all that makes the Blue Devils into the best college franchise of all time though. There is one part of Duke Basketball that makes them great that many people seem to forget about: the fans.
Even the best team statistic wise can be a terrible franchise because they have no fan base. To be exceptional there has to be a drive behind the team that is not itself or its coach. That drive has to be its fans. So not only is Duke full of talented players and led by a gifted coach but they have thousands of fans that eat, breathe, and sleep Duke Basketball. To show the loyalty, fans can be found in camp sites in front of ticket offices for days and even weeks before tickets go on sale. The time that it is at its worst is right before the Battle for Tobacco Road.
That is the time when the eight mile stretch of land between them and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is up for auction and whoever wins gets bragging rights. It is one of the most intense rivalries of all time so it is not a surprise that the fans are the most loyal and the wildest during that time. So with a total of seventy-seven tournament wins, the most of all time, a winning percent of .786, and an incredible fan base, it is obvious why many people have a love/hate relationship with Duke. They are loved because they are an amazing team but they are hated because any other team does not stand a chance.
They are the finest example of greatness. Step in their way and anticipate on being destroyed. One wrong move and your world will be rocked. Just remember, they will always be smarter, quicker, stronger, and all around better than anyone because they are the Duke Blue Devils and they are by far the best college franchise of all time.