Duke Basketball is one the most renowned sports programs in all of college sports. Duke basketball is a religion in North Carolina and rightfully so because of the success that the program has enjoyed over the past quarter century.
Duke has won three national championships and played in 14 final fours over the past 25 years.
They have also sent 71 players to the NBA over that span, by far the most of any school in the past 25 years. Currently, Duke has more alumni playing in the NBA than any other school in the nation.
Duke also is 2nd all-time in consecutive weeks being ranked in the Top 25, they were ranked every week from 1996-2007. An incredible achievement especially is the college sports landscape which is very deep in talent across the board.
Duke basketball had been a solid sports program from its inception; however with the hiring of Mike Krzyzewski in 1981, the team has had an unprecedented run of success. The team won its first NCAA championship in 1991 led by Christian Laettner and Grant Hill.
The team beat heavily favored UNLV in that season’s final four, which cemented their place as one of the elite teams in all of college basketball, since that unlikely upset, they have never looked back. The repeated as national champions the year after and were looking to dominate the sport for years to come.
During the rest of the 90’s they would compete in 3 more final fours, giving them a 50% clip level of competing in the final four during that span, turning out all-Americans at a ridiculous rate and dominating the ACC, the conference in which they play. They once again won the National Championship in 2001 led by the likes of Shane Battier, Carlos Boozer, and Jason Williams.
All of whom went onto the NBA the following season. The success is still continued today, where at the beginning of each season, Duke is a legitimate threat to win the national championship, and with these high expectations comes a rabid fan base, simply known as the “Cameron Crazies”
The Cameron crazies are named after the arena in which Duke competes, Cameron Indoor Stadium. The Crazies stand courtside in a 1,500 seat student section and begin cheering as early as during warm-ups. Many Crazies paint their faces or bodies white and blue and wear Duke Gear to represent their team.
During the game, the Crazies jump up and down when the opposing team has possession of the ball all while yelling cheers in almost perfect unison. One of their most famous cheers is the air ball cheer, in which they will taunt any player who is unlucky enough to air ball a shot the entire game when he has possession of the basketball.
Over the years, Duke’s Cameron Crazies have earned a reputation as the rowdiest and wittiest basketball fans in the nation. It is not just inside that they fans can get rowdy, these fans will start pre-game festivities some to as early as a day before the game, especially for the team’s biggest rival, the North Carolina Tar Heels.
They will congregate at an area on campus called K-Ville, name for the team’s basketball Coach, known as Coach K. These fans also take their basketball so seriously that they will camp out for season tickets, sometimes up to three days in advance, just to get a chance to be inside the stadium for all games during the season.
When asked about college basketball, the casual fan will almost more than likely respond with Duke Basketball as the most well known program in all of NCAA basketball. This is not likely to end anytime soon as Duke Basketball becomes stronger and stronger with every passing year. Duke basketball is arguably the most recognized program in all of college sports, not just basketball.