No Love for Duke


My friend Pete is inexplicably a die-hard North Carolina State fan. I do not mean to slight the Wolfpack here. It's just that Pete did not attend this university, nor did anyone he knows. He did not grow up near this university, either. He's never even flown into Raleigh-Durham International Airport (RDU, as the locals call it "“ though Pete wouldn't know that).

Earlier this week, he sent me Thomas Neumann's ESPN Page 2 column on the top ten most-hated Duke basketball players. For this post to make any sense, I must reveal my Blue Devil alumni status. While I was not one to paint my stomach or sleep in tents before games "“ I don't like itching or camping or crowds "“ I'm still a big fan. In fact, I recently rated Duke Basketball my fourth-favorite sport, after the NFL, Wii Tennis and American Idol.

This has been a rebuilding year for Duke, a program that hasn't rebuilt in a decade. Pete's been loving it. And before last night's Duke-NC State match-up, he made a bet. "If we win," he said, lumping himself in with the Wolfpack despite never being south of Delaware, "you have to post that top-ten list on mental_floss." Although we never decided what the stakes were if Duke won, I stupidly accepted.

Duke lost 85-80 in OT. Here's the list.

1. Christian Laettner
2. J.J. Redick
3. Steve Wojciechowski
4. Chris Collins
5. Brian Davis
6. Mike Krzyzewski
7. Danny Ferry
8. Bobby Hurley
9. Shavlik Randolph
10. Gerald Henderson