Womhoops Guru

Mel Greenberg covered college and professional women’s basketball for the Philadelphia Inquirer, where he worked for 40 plus years. Greenberg pioneered national coverage of the game, including the original Top 25 women's college poll. His knowledge has earned him nicknames such as "The Guru" and "The Godfather," as well as induction into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in 2007.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Duke-North Carolina: Historic Matchup of AP Unbeatens

By Mel Greenberg

PHILADELPHIA _ History of sorts will be made when No. 1 Duke and No. 2 North Carolina hook up Thursday night in Chapel Hill, the home of the Tar Heels.

In the Associated Poll women’s history, dating back to the origin in Nov., 1976, this will be the deepest into the season that two unbeaten teams ranked first and second will face each other and the first time it will occur within the same conference.

This is the 17th occurrence of 1-2 unbeaten meetings with the No. 1 team holding a 10-6 record in such matchups..

Additionally, the 24-0 record of Duke and 24-0 record of North Carolina are the most loaded marks opponents will be carrying into the game.

It’s also the first time neither Tennessee nor Connecticut is involved with this kind of game deep into the season.

On Feb. 1 of the 2002-03 season Connecticut ranked No. 2 had a 19-0 record when the Huskies traveled to Durham to upset No. 1 Duke, 77-65, when the Blue Devils entered the game at 20-0.

A year ago, on the last day of the regular season, Duke and North Carolina also met as a 1-2 with the Tar Heels being the also ran. Duke already had a loss however. But earlier in the season, another unbeaten 1-2 game occurred with the Blue Devils holding off No. 2 Tennessee, 75-53, in Durham.

Your Guru will be on the scene after sacrificing the Connecticut-Rutgers game to help staff shortages here by covering a high school girls game for print Thursday night that probably exists on philly.com.

Anyhow, here’s the all-time list of unbeaten 1-2 matchups results but more research in media guides will be required for records at the time of the game.

1981: No. 1 Louisiana Tech 81, No. 2 Old Dominion 47 at Ruston, La., off 80-81 season.
1981: No. 1 Louisiana Tech 68, No. 2 Old Dominion 51, at New York early in 81-82.
1982: No. 1 Southern Cal 64, No. 2 Louisiana Tech 58, at Ruston, La., early in 82-83.
1985: No. 1 Old Dominion 84, No. 2 Long Beach State 71, at Norfolk, Va., early in 84-85.
1987: No. 2 Texas 97, No. 1 Tennessee 78, at Knoxville, Tenn., very early in 87-88.
1989. No. 2 Louisiana Tech 59, Tennessee 58, at Knoxville, Tenn., very early in 89-90.
1992: No. 2 Tennessee 74, No. 1 Stanford 72, ot, at Honolulu, Ha.., very early in 92-93.
1994. No. 1 Tennessee 105, No. 2 Stanford 69, at Knoxville, Tenn., very early in 94-95.
1995. No. 2 Connecticut 77, No. 1 Tennessee, 66, at Storrs, Conn.; mid 94-95.
1996 No. 1 Stanford 74, No. 2 Alabama 65, at Stanford, Calif., 1996-97 opener.
1997: No. 1 Tennessee 75, No. 2 Louisiana Tech 61, at Knoxville, Tenn., early 97-98.
2000: No. 1 Connecticut 81, No. 2 Tennessee 67, at Knoxville, Tenn., early 2000-01.
2002: No. 1 Connecticut 86, No. 2 Tennessee 72, at Knoxville, Tenn., early 2001-02.
2002: No. 1 Duke 76, No. 2 Tennessee 55, at Raleigh, N.C., early 2002-03.
2003: No. 2 Connecticut 77, No. 1 Duke 55, at Durham, N.C., late in 2002-03.
2006: No. 2 Duke 75, No. 1 Tennessee 53, at Durham, N.C., mid 2005-06.

-- Mel


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