The Tobacco Road Rivalry is one of the greatest in college sports. And obviously the rivalry between Duke and UNC has been most notable for the basketball programs in the past. You've got 11 National Championships between the 2 schools and 6 of them have been within the past 20 years. Two of the most notable coaches in the sport's history, so many iconic players who have come out of those programs, it's easy to see why you could consider it to be a basketball centric rivalry.
But this year Duke basketball sucked copious amounts ass. They missed the tournament for the first time in what? Like 26 years? And UNC didn't do much better this year after bowing out of the tournament in the first round to Wisconsin. Luckily for Tobacco Road, however, Duke and UNC are actually lacrosse schools. And last night the two faced off against each other as the #1 and #2 teams in the nation. And holy shit this game didn't disappoint.
They say that you need HBO Max if you want to watch Godzilla vs Kong. I'd say all you needed was the ACC Network last night because both of these offenses are a couple of absolute titans. You've got two of the biggest weapons in the nation with Chris Gray from North Carolina and Michael Sowers at Duke. Both of those guys will be Tewaaraton finalists this year. You've also got one of the most lethal freshmen the game has ever seen with Brennan O'Neill making it look like he's been in Durham for 6 years already.
The offenses for both of these teams are always going to get the headlines because they are both ridiculously stacked. But the goalies were both so goddamn sick and so goddamn tired about hearing about how good these offenses are. These goalies woke up yesterday, both chose violence, and were ready to make a bunch of superstars look like they had just picked up a lacrosse stick for the first time.
Like those numbers are pretty sick on their own. 17 save and 14 save performances are always going to be huge. But when you take into consideration who those 17 and 14 saves came against? It's downright silly. It would be like putting a goalie in net against a team that has Lemieux, Ovechkin, and Brett Hull, and then that goalie goes out and puts them all in his back pocket.
So you had a back and forth game with no team able to really go on a massive run because the goalies decided nobody was allowed to have fun. So after 4 quarters of insane lacrosse, we needed a few extra minutes to determine a winner. And that's when that sick bastard Joe Robertson found himself guarded by a short stick, got himself a step or so above GLE, flipped the switch and delivered the dagger in the battle of the unbeatens.
Sick finish to close out a sick game. And not that this should be any surprise but it's time to hit Thursday Night ACC Lacrosse with the "must watch" tag. Between this game last night, last week's Duke vs Cuse matchup, and that first ACC game of the year between UNC and Virginia, all of these games have been epic. And I hate the word epic. Unfortunately we have to wait until the 15th for the next one between Duke and Virginia.