‘Stepping Into Fire’: Seth Curry Details the Rivalry Between Duke Blue Devils and North Carolina Tar Heels

Published 01/08/2021, 4:49 AM EST


College basketball has always proven to be entertaining for various reasons. The NCAA Division I tournament is always a notch above, and the Duke Blue Devils and North Carolina Tar Heels share one of the greatest rivalries in the history of the sport. 

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Duke and North Carolina are two of the greatest competitors in college basketball history, and the two universities go way back in terms of sharing a gritty rivalry. The major reason behind their competitiveness comes from the fact that the two schools are located just ten miles away from each other. 

Every player who suits up for either university has to embrace the Duke-North Carolina game to the maximum level. Likewise, current Philadelphia 76ers star Seth Curry once played for Duke in his college career, and he recently detailed his experience playing in his first game against the Tar Heels! 

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How Seth Curry felt when suiting up for the Duke Blue Devils against North Carolina

Seth Curry had the privilege of playing for the Duke Blue Devils three years in his career. He joined Duke after being transferred from Liberty University and instantly gelled into Mike Krzyzewski’s coaching system.

Curry recently connected on ‘The Field of 68’ podcast, where he recollected his memories of playing in his first Duke-North Carolina game. His first-ever appearance in this fixture came on February 9, 2011, and the combo guard distinctively remembers the details.

That was my first actual Duke-Carolina experience at all. I always hear about the atmosphere and what that game was like, but I was literally stepping into the fire without even seeing it firsthand. So, I was excited about just being on the court and playing the game.” Curry told his former teammate Andre Dawkins on the podcast. 

“It was a special night like that was literally the loudest I’ve ever heard, I remember like we made a run, somebody shooting a free throw. I mean, I can literally see the backboard kind of shaking,” he added. 

How Duke registered victory in Curry’s first-ever appearance

North Carolina rallied to a 14-point lead against Duke when they met in February 2011. Thus, the Blue Devils had to respond in the final 20 minutes and they did. Moreover, as per ESPN, “Duke hadn’t erased a halftime deficit that big to win since 1959.”

That was maybe the only time ever on the floor I’m like this is a team is knights we’re playing against,” Curry mentioned about the Tar Heels. 

Duke put on a massive show against the opponents who were visiting them, and it couldn’t get any better. Seth Curry finished the game with 22 points in 66.7% FG shooting, while Nolan Smith stole the shot with his career-high 34-point effort. 

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“I feel like that was one of those moments where everybody pitched in, everybody played a part in that win,” Curry reflected on the game. 

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The Duke Blue Devils miraculously won the game by erasing the deficit, but they lost out in the second fixture when they took on the Tar Heels again in March 2011.

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Arjun Athreya

1924 articles

Arjun Athreya is a senior writer at Essentially Sports and has been contributing since early 2020. Having developed an avid interest in sports at an early age, he pursued a Journalism degree and graduated from Madras Christian College. Arjun manages the Golf division and its content, and primarily covers news pertaining to the NBA as well.

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