Syracuse-Duke rivalry grows after controversy, disdain at Cameron Indoor

first_img Published on February 23, 2014 at 6:11 pm Contact Stephen: sebail01@syr.edu | @Stephen_Bailey1 Michael Gbinije stood in shock underneath the basket at Cameron Indoor Stadium.He looked toward the baseline official wide-eyed and opened his mouth slightly.The Syracuse sophomore guard, who transferred from Duke before last season, had just been called for fouling Amile Jefferson on a rebound with 11:11 left in Syracuse’s 66-60 loss to Duke on Saturday.“We don’t miss you,” the Cameron Crazies to his right chanted. “We don’t miss you.”Gbinije paused for a second, but gritted his teeth and jogged back down the court. AdvertisementThis is placeholder textIt was a jarring moment that highlighted a night sprinkled with discontent and disdain. And in between those points, the Duke student section, which tried to pack all 1,500 occupants of Krzyzewskiville into the wooden bleachers that stand behind press row, injected more intensity into the new-forming rivalry with each possession.In only two games, Syracuse-Duke has become something special. It’s proven that it could grow to be one of the greatest rivalries in college sports. While Blue Devils head coach Mike Krzyzewski said the best rivalries are built on respect after the first game on Feb. 1, it’s clear this matchup has a bit more than that now.“Those people up there, they can make all the noise they want,” Boeheim said of the Crazies. “They don’t score any points.”The Crazies pumped Cameron with noise more than an hour before tipoff. As the SU players took part in their early shoot around, many were yelled at and taunted.The fans came with signs defacing everything from Boeheim to Wegmans.Gbinije, more than anyone or anything else, though, was on the receiving end of the hate.“Gbi-ni-je, still can’t play,” the Crazies shouted as Gbinije smiled through most of warm-ups, ignoring the fans.“It was louder than I expected it to be so early because of the student section,” SU forward C.J. Fair said. “It felt like a packed house and it really wasn’t.”As the game wore on, the Crazies continued to rain flecks of blue paint and spittle out toward the court.But while the tone of the game may have raised the intensity on the court, and hostility off it, that’s not to say some didn’t appreciate the atmosphere.“This is how college basketball should be,” SU guard Trevor Cooney said. “The students should be really close to you, right on top of you. It’s just a fun place to play. “Compared to Pittsburgh and how the students are laid out, it definitely makes the game better.”In the teams’ first matchup at the Carrier Dome on Feb. 1, five rows and a large aisle separated the Syracuse student section from the court.The signs and the chants were there, but the intensity and effect on the game wasn’t the same. That environment helped build the rivalry, but the game at Cameron on Saturday changed it.“These are the games you want to play in in college,” Cooney said. “You come to college to play good games like this against good teams.”Depending on how the rest of the regular season shakes out, it’s possible there’ll be a Round III in the Atlantic Coast Conference or NCAA Tournament.With all that’s transpired in the 85 minutes of basketball Syracuse and Duke have played so far this season, it’s incredible to think about what could happen on an even bigger stage.Said Fair: “I’d like to play them again, especially in the ACC tournament or in the (national) championship. Some way to break the tie.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+last_img

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