Every night before the first Duke-UNC game of the season (aka MOTHERFUCKIN' RIVALRY DAY), the two teams' managers play each in a no-holds-barred fullcourt game. Blue Devil and Tar Heel players traditionally come out to watch the contest, and last night, one actually had to step in before the two squads of towel-carriers came to blows. "At one point during the game after a near altercation between the teams, sophomore point guard Quinn Cook ran from the baseline to the bench, wrapping up one of his managers in an embrace and complimenting him on his intensity," reported The Duke Chronicle.
You caught that this is a game between the two managers, right?
After a heated second half, Duke took a 50-42 lead with less than three minutes remaining. But a late 8-0 Carolina run tied it all up. Which led to this:
With the score tied at 52-52 and 7.5 seconds remaining in the contest, sophomore head coach Mike Sotsky called a timeout and drew up Duke’s final play. Sophomore Ian McKiernan beat his man off the dribble and found his colleague and classmate Graham Vehovec wide open in the opposite corner.
Vehovec hoisted a 3-pointer that splashed into the net to give Duke a 55-52 victory as time expired. The Cameron Crazies on hand stormed the court in celebration for the first time since Sean Dockery hit a 45-foot buzzer-beater against Virginia Tech in Dec. 2005.
“You talk about it, and you say, ‘Wouldn’t it be cool if?’ But you never expect anything to go like that,” Sotsky said. “An unbelievable play at the end by Ian. At the beginning of the game Ian was taking a lot of contact and was thrown off, but to make that play at the end, that’s the kind of player Ian is. He’s a competitor. Everyone on this team is a competitor, and they’re fighters.”
The Chronicle went on to compare the shot to Austin Rivers' famous heave from last season, which is, well, ridiculous. But! Don't discount the good vibes this might give Cameron before tonight's 9 p.m matchup against UNC. Could make all the difference.
1(Actually, who are we kidding—they've been hard to defend over the past 23 years.)