Comparing Duke and UNC’s resume

Even this biased Duke fan knows that UNC has a better team, and therefore I won’t waste your time with the argument about which team is better. However, I will waste your time trying to make the point that as of this moment Duke has a better resume than UNC and is more deserving of a #1 seed. Why? They have beaten better teams. The good news with Duke/UNC is that it is pretty easy to compare their schedules. In the interest of comparing the two teams I am going to cross off similar games. If they both played at Maryland and won then neither team can claim that win as an advantage over the other team. By deleting the similar games my goal was to show you the games that differentiate Duke and UNC this year.

First let’s go over the games that I deleted because they were either exactly the same or similiar enough. Here were the two ground rules that you can feel free to disagree with – 1) Margin of victory did not matter. A loss is a loss regardless of if it is by 1 point or 33 points. 2) Sub-200 wins were deleted.

Exact games: Duke/UNC both beat..

  • Michigan State on a neutral court.
  • Each other on the road.
  • Virginia at home
  • NC State at home
  • Maryland at home and on the road
  • Virginia Tech on the road
  • Wake Forest on the road.

Close enough games

  • Duke beat Colorado State (RPI #22) at home. UNC beat Wisconsin (RPI #21) at home.
  • Duke beat Washington (RPI #54) on a neutral court. UNC beat Miami of Florida (RPI #56) on the road.
  • Duke beat Belmont (RPI #61) at home. UNC beat Miami of Florida (RPI #56) at home.
  • Duke beat Penn (RPI #95) at home. UNC beat UNC-Asheville (RPI #104) on the road.
  • Duke beat Virginia Tech (RPI #119) at home. UNC beat Evansville (RPI #129) at home.
  • Duke beat Clemson on the road. UNC beat Clemson at home.
  • Duke beat St. John’s (RPI #158) at home. UNC beat MS Valley St. (RPI #152) at home.
  • Duke beat Georgia Tech on the road. UNC beat Georgia Tech at home.
  • Duke beat Wake Forest (RPI #167) at home. UNC beat South Carolina (RPI #193) on a neutral court.
  • Duke lost to Ohio State (RPI #8) on the road. UNC lost to Kentucky (RPI #2) on the road.
  • Duke lost to Temple (RPI #13) on the road. UNC lost to UNLV (RPI #14) on the road.
  • Duke lost to Florida State at home. UNC lost to Florida State on the road.

Feel free to disagree with any of the above that I deemed to be close enough. Also, I understand if you want to incorporate margin of victory into the analysis. However, if you cross off the games above here is what is left:

Duke beat the following teams:

  • #6 Kansas on a neutral court.
  • #12 Michigan on a neutral court.
  • #23 Florida State on the road.
  • #65 Davidson at home.
  • #75 Tennessee on a neutral court.

Also, they lost to #56 Miami of Florida at home.

UNC on the other hand doesn’t have any losses among the leftover games. Below are their five unique wins:

  • #35 Long Beach State at home.
  • #41 Virginia on the road.
  • #51 NC State on the road.
  • #53 Texas at home.
  • #110 Tennessee State at home.

Is it more impressive beating those 5 teams without losing a game or going 5-1 with wins against three top 25 RPI teams? I would venture to say that if UNC would have lost at least one of those unique games on Duke’s schedule. I personally think it is better to have challenged your team against teams like Kansas and Michigan compared to UNC’s comps of Long Beach State and UVA. I think beating Tennessee on a neutral court is much more impressive than beating Tennessee State at home. Are Duke’s wins enough to make up for the home loss to Miami?

All of the above is something to consider during the ACC tournament. If UNC wins the tournament this weekend then the above argument doesn’t matter. A regular season win + a tournament win would equal a #1 seed. However, if UNC losses and Duke wins the tournament it would mean that a) UNC lost to an inferior opponent like NC State or UVA or b) Duke beat them in the title games. If that happens then there is no doubt that Duke should be given the #1 seed over UNC. I find it hard to imagine someone objectively looking at both team’s schedules and concluding that UNC has had better results than Duke.

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One Response to Comparing Duke and UNC’s resume

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  1. William says: