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Leaky Black: With Their Record, Duke Is More Desperate Than Us

UNC junior wants to pay Blue Devils back for last year's losses

UNC’s Leaky Black thinks that this year’s Duke-Carolina game will be intense, even playing in an empty arena.

“It’ll definitely be a little different,” he said, “but it’s still a big time game, regardless. I just feel like we need to be ready to play whether there’s nobody in the stands or they allow them to sell out the place.”

Both teams are unranked and coming off of losses, and Black is concerned about a wounded Duke team.

“I feel like … I don’t want to word it in the wrong way, but basically, I feel like with their position they’re in right now, I just feel like they’re hungrier,” he said. “Kind of just more desperate than we are right now. It shouldn’t be that way, but I just feel like, with their record, that’s how it is.”

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Despite that, Black is very hungry for a win over Duke after losing both games against the Blue Devils last year, including the heartbreaking overtime loss in the Smith Center.

“One hundred percent,” he said. “100%. Both games last year, especially the first one, were definitely heart breaking. I felt like we needed that. That would have… who knows what would have happened? It would have helped us get over the hump, given us motivation going down the road. We definitely owe those guys.”

Regardless of the records or lack of fans in the stands, Black thinks the rivals will be ready.

“It’s something you have to experience, he said. “There’s nothing like the adrenaline. No one gets tired. Everything goes out the window. There’s no getting tired in a game like that. You’ve got to suck it up. With them, they’ve been around basketball their whole life. They know what’s at stake here.”

“It’s Duke,” he added. “Everybody will be fired up regardless. Even if no one is in the stands, we’ll know a lot of people are watching.”