First guard Reggie Bullock said last year that the Tar Heels would reestablish dominance in the rivalry because Duke has "sorry wing players." Then Carolina-bound James McAdoo and Duke-bound Michael Gbinije traded some friendly barbs in an interview in August. And now future Blue Devil Austin Rivers had a little fun at North Carolina's expense in an interview with the Orlando Sentinel.
"I don't think it's much of a rivalry right now because UNC's not better than Duke, nowhere near in my opinion," Rivers said with a smile. "Until UNC can start winning some games, I don't think it's much of a rivalry. They've got to do something first. Duke's done their share. I don't know about UNC."
Duke did sweep the Tar Heels last season including an embarrassing 82-50 beatdown in Durham, but Rivers might be wise to look back a little further before he dishes out anymore smack talk. It was North Carolina that swept the season series in 2009 on the way to a national championship.
Rivers' comments did not go unnoticed among next year's North Carolina recruits. Here's class of 2011 guard P.J. Hairston's reaction:
Rivers responded good-naturedly via Twitter, telling Hairston "haha u right u right! But in my interview I was just talking about this year! Like dam lol! This year duke is simply better!"
We'll find out soon if Rivers is right. Duke and North Carolina meet for the first time on Wednesday.