Tag Archives: Duke

Duke's National Championship team went to the White House this year. Carolina couldn't make it. Public Domain Image.

Duke-Carolina Rivalry: Keeping Score

Tonight is the first of at least two meetings between Duke and UNC’s men’s basketball teams this year. I predicted Duke had a 60% chance to win at least one of these games, given the consensus that Carolina fields a better team this year. I think that’s still a bit of an underestimate, as that equates to Carolina having a 63% chance to win each game, which seems a bit high, given how competitive these games usually are.  Moreover, against common opponents this year, Duke is 7-3 to UNC’s 8-2.  Carolina certainly has the advantage at home tonight (and with only 6 Duke players playing more than 5 minutes), though it’s unlikely to be a blowout.

Let’s talk about the rivalry. Duke and Carolina have played 240 men’s basketball games against each other, with UNC currently winning the series 133-107.  But I contend this fact is not relevant because more distant sports results tend to fade from memory and importance over time.  It’s the most recent outcomes that everyone talks about…

2015 ncaa national championship

Duke's National Championship team went to the White House this year. Carolina couldn't make it. Public Domain Image.

Duke’s National Championship team went to the White House this year. Carolina couldn’t make it. Public Domain Image.

And last year, guess who not only won a national championship, but who also swept their rivals? The Blue Devils. Of course, dominance in the last year can’t define an entire rivalry, so let’s look at the last couple years. Since 2014, who has done better? Duke is up 3-1.  But what if what really matters is the last 3, 4, or 5 years? Duke 5-1, 6-2, 8-3. In fact, we can keep this trend going:

last <Y> years last <x> games Dating Back To Duke record
1  2 2015  2-0
2  4  2014  3-1
3  6  2013  5-1
4  8  2012  6-2
5  11  2011  8-3
6  13  2010  10-3
7  15  2009  10-5
8  17  2008  11-6
9  19  2007  11-8
10  21  2006  12-9
12  25  2004  15-10
14  31  2002  20-11
16  36  2000  24-12
18  42  1998  28-14
20  46  1996  29-17
25  58  1991  34-24
30  60  1986  39-31
35  71  1981  42-39
38  82  1978  47-45
39  85  1977  47-48

Duke has a winning record against Carolina over the last X years, where X is any number of years you’d care about.

Since UNC’s Class of 2019 was born, UNC is about 14-28 against Duke. Since their seniors were born, UNC is 21-29 against Duke. Their lives have been defined by an era of Blue Devil Dominance (for the first few years of current seniors’ lives, UNC did have a winning record against Duke, which means, as far as this rivalry in concerned, their glory days were during preschool, something they share with many other Tar Heels).

You might hear a stat on ESPN tonight that “dating back to 1977, this rivalry is tied!” That’s because you literally have to go back to 1977 to get a tie in the rivalry, Duke has been so dominant recently. But hey, if you count all the games going back to the Ford administration, the Tar Heels are right there with them!

So when Carolina fans brag about how their team is better for having gone undefeated in 1957, an era where lasers and zip codes hadn’t yet been invented, or having won 6 national titles to Duke’s 5 since they count that ultra-competitive 1924 season which was only retroactively declared a championship 20 years later, let them have this. They’ve been getting crushed by Duke for the last 38 years, it’s only fair.


Choosing Sides: College Football Edition

Building off of some of my reasoning in my NBA Finals post, I realized I needed a better system for deciding which teams to cheer for in college football. There are 128 college football teams in NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (known as FBS), and since each team only plays about 12 games a year, most teams do not play each other. Consequently, if you cheer for only one team, you end up only watching a small fraction of the available games, and you’ll never see most good teams play.  But since I like football and, as noted in the NBA Finals post, sports are much more fun when you have a narrative, I’ve decided to properly develop a system to dictate who I will cheer for in different games. This is especially useful with the upcoming conference championships today as well as the many bowl games later in the month.

The system is a pretty straightforward hierarchy, but since I don’t have strong enough feelings on all 128 FBS teams (or even most in the Power 5 conferences), I’ve divided the teams into 3 groups:

  • Group A is a ranked hierarchy of teams I will cheer for against all other teams, except those that are higher in Group A
  • Group Omega is a ranked hierarchy of all the teams I will always cheer against, except those that are higher in Group Omega.  You’ll notice it is larger than group A.
  • Group Meh is all the teams I don’t have strong feelings about. I will cheer against them when they play Group A, and for them when they play Group Omega. I won’t care when they play each other.

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Let me be nice and clear

This is an article published today in Duke’s student newspaper.

The article advocates for the silencing of ideas we disagree with as long as our actions aren’t completely unconstitutional. Therefore, here is a list of responses to this article the author would approve of:

  1. Getting a counter protest together to scream about what a horrible person the author is.
  2. Targeting her with horrible facebook and twitter smear campaigns, declaring what a bad* person she is
  3. Stage a protest and circulate a petition to get the Chronicle and Duke to take down this column and stop the author from writing any more
  4. Create a committee to approve of all future columns before publication to make sure they do not contain any intolerant opinions.
  5. Circulate this column with future prospective employers of the author, threaten to make a big protest if the author is hired at a firm. Ruin the author’s chance of employment because we disagree with her opinion.

*insert your own creative adjectives here

If an angry mob did this to the author, it’s hard to see how she could say it was unfair. Nevertheless, I don’t believe we should be as mean and intolerant as the Constitution allows us to be. There is a great benefit to tolerance beyond the tolerance of law.  Therefore, if you do what the author has suggested, you will not be elevating the level of intellectual discourse; you will be shutting out part of it. Intolerance, like speech, is a tool. And there is no reason a tool can be used by only your side.  We should not be making it easier to stop speakers from having an open dialogue, to stop interactions with ideas we dislike, or to get people fired for unpopular opinions.  Groups of people who have not heard all sides of an argument are by definition uninformed, and uninformed mobs are not good arbiters of the merits of arguments.

Why macroeconomics doesn’t work and other links.

I found an excellent blog post discussing the shortcomings of much of the economic field. Definitely worth a read.

Additionally, a nice post off Hacker News about Steve Jobs and Apple. While I do like many of Apple’s products, their culture always seemed a bit counter to the open and collaborative culture of the internet. This discussion of Steve Jobs helps explain why. Of course, it’s important to mention that Steve Jobs is extraordinarily accomplished and incredible, but his leadership came with a price.

Finally, my post from yesterday was published in the Chronicle! it’s my first publicized work in a newspaper.

Libertarian Response to “Gay marriage isn’t a right”

Jonthan Zhou posted his final column of the year for the Chronicle.  He claims that he is a conservative or libertarian, but I hold that he is far from it.  This is my response to his article, sent to the Chronicle.

Mr. Zhao seeks to refute gay marriage on the basis of natural and legal rights, an intangible “morality”, an economic externality argument and finally a discussion of the separation of constitutional powers.  As a libertarian and presumed believer in Federalism, it seems shocking that Mr. Zhao somehow overlooks that separation of powers might exist for the very purpose of preventing enforcement of unjust laws. Secondly, he utilizes a UT-Austin study that found lower quality of life indicators for children raised in gay households. Assuming it is true, he ignores that utility is also lost every day by gay and lesbian couples legally unable to enjoy the full benefits of marriage, both economic and personal. Why a libertarian or conservative should argue that an interventionist tax system is the proper way to confront the economics of personal relationships is again mystifying.  Mr. Zhao’s “morality” that government should enforce is somehow completely independent of the natural rights he refers to earlier.  The concept that a government has the ability to enforce a morality beyond the natural rights of individuals is the very antithesis of libertarian thought.  His argument that there is no legal right to gay marriage is predicated on the abandonment of a natural rights morality. If this were not bad enough, Mr. Zhao starts his column by denying that there is any support of marriage amongst natural rights. But if marriage as an institution is a societal concept, defined by the many, why does a libertarian defend a government sanction of it?  If instead, marriage is a personal contract, then all have a vital libertarian right to it. The right of individuals to create contracts is inviolate.  The fact that Mr. Zhao argues against so fundamental a right indicates he is not the defender of liberty and small government he claims to be. As a libertarian myself, I would emphatically disagree that Mr. Zhao holds the same beliefs I do.