City Sports Report

The Duke Blue Devils are America’s most hated team

Coach K is the leader of the most hated team in America(photo courtesy of

In every sport, there is always a team that is hated the most. In Major League Baseball, the New York Yankees are that team. The Dallas Cowboys seem to draw the ire of many in the NFL. And in the NBA, it seems to be teams that LeBron James plays on recently. Well, in college basketball there is one team that continually draws the ire of many college basketball fans. That team would be none other than the Duke Blue Devils. For years, those that dislike Duke have been acting like it’s Christmas when they would lose. And when they would win, those same fans would ignore their accomplishments. All in all, Duke is the most hated team in college basketball and has been for a long time. But what makes them hated so much?

Duke was not very successful before head coach Mike Krzyzweski took over in 1980. But over time and with the recruits he brought in like Jay Bilas and Johnny Dawkins, the program began to have success. Flash forward to today and Coach K is one of the best coaches in the country. But some feel that the Duke Blue Devils get the spoils of everything from everyone. When they play, it is perceived that they get every single call on the court, and as a result, opposing teams have to beat them and the referees. This may or may not be true, but there always seems to be a call that goes Duke’s way that is highly questionable. For example today, it may not have been a questionable call to some, but Duke freshman Justice Winslow went to the basket today and clearly took three or four steps without a dribble on his way to the basket. It may be understandable that a travel that bad be missed in the NBA, but in college basketball, there should be no way that a big travel should be missed. And this call is just the tip of the iceberg of the things that upset fans that dislike Duke.

But it’s not just the calls during Duke games that upset the fans that dislike them. They tend to always have the players that seem to annoy fans of college basketball. One of the first to get under the skin of America was Christian Laettner. He was a talented big man that led the Duke Blue Devils to back-back titles in 1991 and 1992. He was also named National Player of the Year in 1992 and a first-team All-American as well that same year. But beyond the hoopla and the player that Laettner was, he was considered by most to be a dirty player. It always seemed that he was in something with someone and he would use that edginess he played with to his advantage. Of course he went over the line in his game against the University of Kentucky where he stomped on an opposing player, but more often times than not he got away with the things he did. And that bothered more fans of the game than anything. That mantra continued to follow Duke and some of the players that wore their jersey later on down the line. Over the years, it seemed like they always had that one guy that stirred the pot just a little too much and that increased the hate of the Blue Devils even more.

But one of the main reasons Duke is hated is because of the success they have and the thoughts of the school. Duke has been a highly successful program for much of Coach K’s tenure there. You can count on one hand the disappointing seasons Coach K has had over the last 30 years. The man simply does not have any time for losing and failure on the court. And with him in charge, the Blue Devils will always be relevant and in the running for the national title. Along with the success, the school is not one that typically fits in North Carolina in the Atlantic Coast Conference. Duke is an Ivy League-style school that is one of the best schools in the country. The school also is viewed as one that has a bunch of kids that have never had to struggle a day in their life. The success coupled with the look of the school turns some fans off about them. And quite honestly, some wish them to have some struggles because some at that school may not have ever had to struggle at all and honestly may not know how to handle it.

Duke has advanced to yet another Sweet 16 and some Duke haters are not very happy. These are a few of the reasons that Duke is one of the most hated teams in America and there are probably a ton more that fans have. All in all, as the tournament goes on, there will be more and more that wish the Duke Blue Devils a long and painful loss in the Sweet 16. Why you may ask? Because the disdain for Duke is real and very strong.

For more sports talk, feel free to follow me on Twitter @General_MP or check me out on Facebook at Mike Patton-The General .


  1. Tim Craig

    March 23, 2015 at 6:39 pm

    The idea the Blue Devils did not win before Coach K is not correct. Vic Bubas took Duke to the championship game and lost to UCLA in the game that started their long run as NCAA champs. Bubas coached for 10 years beginning in 1960 and had a.761 winning percentage and went to the NCAA (When only the winner of the ACC tournament went to the NCAA)four times. For six straight years Duke finished the season ranked in the top 10. I would say that was a successful program and coach. Not taking anything away from Coach K, but do not down play what came before him. Thank You

    • Mike Patton

      March 23, 2015 at 7:27 pm

      Duke wasn’t holding a trophy under any of the coaches mentioned Tim.

      • Bo Hall

        March 23, 2015 at 9:15 pm

        Sure they were. Do your research sports “writer.” Conference champs hold up trophies, not just national champs. Before there was an ACC and SEC there was a combination of the two, I think it was called the Southern Conference. Duke won a few of those before Coach K, so if your gauge for successful college basketball programs is “holding up trophies” then the statement you made at the beginning of your article is still incorrect. Duke was a successful program before Coach K, just like UNC or Indiana or UCLA. College basketball just was not as popular back then.

  2. Debra McKinnon

    March 23, 2015 at 7:23 pm

    I love it. You DUKE haters just make us more famous. I love Duke due to the respect between Coach 1 and his players. Eat your hearts out. GTHC your day is coming with the NCAA cheat classes. UNC is the most disrespectful and immature of all colleges.

    • Mike Patton

      March 23, 2015 at 7:26 pm

      Who said I was a North Carolina fan Debra?

      • Debra McKinnon

        April 3, 2015 at 10:24 pm

        You act like a typical ass hole from UNC but like your opinion everyone has one and entitled to it but to cut a school down I’ve seen tarhoes get away with murder how they were in the top 25 I can’t figure out. I just hope the NCAA BURNS THEM, but being UNC they will not be punished. Not only privileged kids go to DUKE kids work their buts off for academic scholarships and loans to pay after. I have more respect for DUKE academics than any college I’m glad my son wants to attend Duke for his medical which there will be loans to be paid back but in the end it will be worth it. Go Duke

  3. Carl Hill

    March 23, 2015 at 9:00 pm

    You point out the one play by Winslow, but don’t mention that a physical San Diego State team committed only 8 fouls for the whole game and Duke only shot 2 free throws. The myth that Duke gets all the calls is perpetuated by the media who don’t present the total picture.

    • Jamie Huff

      March 25, 2015 at 3:30 am


  4. Lee Love

    March 24, 2015 at 11:15 pm

    Coach K and his players sure get their share of “hate”… I’ve never totally understood that, they are not my favorite college team but to say hate is strong. Whatever Coach K has done over 30 years seems to work for better or worse.

  5. Robert Trout

    March 25, 2015 at 1:44 am

    You know there are ways to write these types of articles without showing your disdain for the subject you are writing about. You are clearly not objective here, and that ruins the credibility of the article. Plus, you got your facts wrong, the writing style was boring, and not very clever. I don’t imagine I will be visiting anytime soon.

    • Mike Patton

      March 25, 2015 at 3:19 am

      Thanks for stopping through and have a good one!

  6. M. Cooper

    March 25, 2015 at 2:34 am

    Long live the BLUE DEVILS! WOOT!

  7. Jamie Huff

    March 25, 2015 at 3:28 am

    Jealousy is the primary factor in play here. Saying that Duke gets all the calls is laughable. And it should be an insult to the referees who call the games they play in. Face it. Coach K is the best coach in college basketball, he recruits talented players and they play well using a style that lends itself to winning. They don’t win EVERY game and they don’t get every call. I would challenge people to check the statistics of their main rival UNC for how many fouls are called on them every season. I know a couple of years ago UNC was ranked third from the bottom on foul calls and this was a season where a lot of the players were freshmen and sophomores. So is everyone to believe that the freshmen that come to UNC have no learning curve when it comes to fouling? One year they played Clemson and the refs called so many fouls on Clemson that that they finished the game with 4 players because the rest of the lineup had fouled out! I have never witnessed that in all the years I have been watching college basketball. So all the complaints about Duke getting all the calls amount to crybaby whining. Get over it.

    • Mike Patton

      March 25, 2015 at 3:29 am

      Its a perception. You may speak of others, but as an unbiased writer why would I even be jealous of a team? Doesn’t make sense.

      • Jamie Huff

        March 25, 2015 at 3:33 am

        I’m not accusing you of jealousy Mr. Patton. I am accusing all the opposing fans that you are discussing. If Duke is the most hated team in college basketball someone has be doing the hating and I am saying that these haters are jealous of Duke’s success.

  8. Jamie Huff

    March 25, 2015 at 3:47 am

    By the way when I stated that UNC was ranked third from the bottom In fouls called I meant in all of Division I college basketball. That is pretty remarkable for any team that plays in the ACC, one of the toughest conferences in NCAA Division I men’s basketball. My point is that any criticism of Duke getting a pass from the officials is factually incorrect. While I’m on a roll let’s talk about that “stomp” that Christian Laettner delivered in that Kentucky game. 3 things: 1. On the previous play a Kentucky player pushed Laettner into the stanchion under Kentucky’s basket. Hard. 2. The “stomp” from Laettner was more of a tap. Look at the video. 3. The Kentucky player jumped up and was laughing about it. Not exactly a brutal foul. But it’s easy to blame Laettner for Kentucky losing. After all he didn’t miss a single shot in that game and he hit the historic unforgettable shot that won the game for Duke.

    • Mike Patton

      March 25, 2015 at 3:49 am

      It’s all a matter of perception Jamie. And honestly, if Laettner played in this era, we all know he would have been tossed whether it was a hard stomp or not.

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