Alright, first things first: yes, we lost to UNC at the end of the season. You guys won this time. Sure, the score wasn’t that close, and you avenged that oh so satisfying Austin Rivers buzzer-beater back on February 8. And while us Dukies may still be a tad bitter after suffering a loss to our most hated neighbors on our own turf, this rebuttal to UNC’s provocative call-out (see here) is not out of spite. Rather, our mission is simply to defend our fanaticism, our craziness, and the institution of Duke basketball that is so near and dear to our hearts (okay, and to prove that we’re still the best).
Let’s start with the raw data. Before I take on the statistical analysis, I must extend a big thank you to the UNC branch of HerCampus for taking the time to generate these numbers. It takes a lot of guts to walk around wearing the rival school’s shirt—no way would I ever do that. The pie graphs and calculations are pretty clutch too. However, the praise stops there. It’s true, Duke’s average basketball IQ score is in fact lower according to this survey, but by only 0.1 points. In addition, our median is higher than Carolina’s, and if there’s one thing I learned in Stat 101, sometimes the median is more telling than the average due to pesky outliers.
Similarly, UNC’s standard deviation is much greater than Duke’s, meaning that more people from the Duke sample scored close to the mean compared to the Tar Heels. Therefore, one could conclude from these stats that Duke has more “fairly” knowledgeable people compared to Carolina. Of course, this is a single interpretation, but given the fact that there are multiple interpretations of these stats, UNC cannot conclusively say that the Tar Heels are more knowledgeable than us Cameron Crazies. Finally, is a sample of 30 Dukies really representative of the student body? No way. This, my friends, is a convenience sample, one that is easily accessed, and is likely far from representative of the Duke student body.
But numbers and data aside, Carolina brings up a good point—why do we cheer when a call goes against us? Why do the Cameron Crazies scream and jump up and down when a Duke player is called for an offensive foul, or when a jump ball goes the other way? One possible answer is the simple fact that both of these calls involve a Carolina player on the ground. Think about it—when a Duke player is called for a charge, it usually involves them knocking a member of the other team off their feet so they are sprawled out on the floor of Cameron. Similarly, a jump ball usually involves somewhat of a scuffle in which a Carolina player is once again fighting from the floor. It may sound harsh, but we like when Carolina is knocked around a little. Hey, it’s just a few bruises, right?
Another, and perhaps more likely explanation of why the Crazies cheer so loud even when the calls go against Duke stems from our enthusiasm and passion for our team itself. It’s true, sometimes we are upset when a call goes against our team, but should we ostracize the players for a simple mistake? Heck no. Cameron Crazies are known for being loud, obnoxious, passionate, intense, enthusiastic, and motivational. Nearly every time a Duke player is interviewed at home, they cite the Crazies as one his/her most motivating influences. Through ups and downs, we believe in the Blue Devils. We cheer despite our team’s mistakes because we believe in the players, and we want to encourage them to win.
So yes, UNC, we know what a charge is. And we also know that when a Duke player is called for a charge, a UNC player is on the ground. In addition, we know the importance of standing by our team, and we recognize that it is our enthusiasm that motivates the players and makes us some of the most famous fans in the nation. You may have the ACC regular season title, but don’t think we’re feeling discouraged over here in Durham. In fact, it is your winning ways that keep us so motivated. While us Dukies love to hate UNC, we also love our rivalry. The Duke-UNC rivalry is one of the most reveled in American sports, and realistically, this rivalry wouldn’t exist if we demolished our pesky neighbors every time. So, Tar Heels, keep bringing the fire. Know that we are eager to avenge our loss in the postseason, and that we can’t wait to beat you in the years to come. And good luck in the tournament—you’re going to need it.