The History Behind The Tobacco Road Showdown

Eight miles. That is all that separates Duke and UNC. A rivalry that goes back to 100 years ago, and the first game played between these two schools started January 24th, 1920. The rivalry is a lot bigger than just two schools down the road.

Duke and Carolina go back to the 1790s; way before both schools were established. It started when Chaney Mangums married Taylor Duke and they had a child together. This wedding was at a Chapel on top of a hill, which lead to a huge scandal of one family suing the other. Depending on who you talk to, they will always blame the other person. The case between the Mangums and Dukes became which family controlled Durham, North Carolina. The Duke family owned a very successful tobacco company, but when the Mangums wanted to change the name of the county; they threatened to move.

Now what does this have to do with Duke-UNC? Duke University was founded by James Buchanan Duke in 1924. The Duke family was a part of the Democratic-Republicans Party. The Mangums where key supporters in the Whig Party who were contributors for University of North Carolina. The rivalry runs deeper than basketball and goes back to political differences.

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Wendell Moore after his GW shot against UNC in 2020. Via wbal.com

Carolina leads the all-time series against Duke, 139-112. Duke has the edge 52-50 against UNC in the last 102 matchups. The two teams give it their all on the court; through blood, sweat, and tears. The Blue Devils against the Tar Heels is always a must watch sporting event and one of the greatest rivalries in all of sports.

Featured image via ABC11.com

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