FanShot

The case for rooting against Duke

Fantastic stuff from Andrew Sharp. Maybe it's true that this year's Duke team is different. Nolan Smith's story is as inspirational as any player in the Final Four, and maybe the whole country. The team, in general, is exactly the sort of overachieving, tight-knit bunch that college basketball fans are conditioned to love. But the Duke fans are right about one thing: it's not about the players, it's about the system. Duke basketball, as an entity, embodies a suffocating blend of hubris and hypocrisy. It represents the worst elements of America; abuse of power, favoritism, double-standards, and a two-faced capitalist like Coach K profiting from it all. It's not cliché to root against a team like that; it's downright patriotic. The Blue Devils could switch rosters with any team in the Final Four, or any team in the country. It wouldn't matter. In the end, Coach K is still their leader, and the fans, his followers, are still some of the most insufferable people you'll ever meet. The players are incidental here. Most sports fans know this intuitively, but it's rarely explained in full. Hence the opportunity for various columnists to call it cliche to root against them. Go Butler.

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