It seems that recently, whenever Duke travels to road games even at neutral venues, the crowd has two favorite teams: the local team, or whoever is playing Duke. Washington D.C. fans rallied behind West Virginia as the Mountaineers upset the Duke men in the NCAA Tournament’s second round, and the crowd at Maryland was decidedly anti-Duke for the women’s team’s first two NCAA Tournament games, both wins.
According to a new Harris Interactive poll, though, Duke is the most popular college basketball team in the country. After being replaced by North Carolina in 2007, Duke regained the top spot it held from 2003-2006. Rounding out the top five: North Carolina, Indiana, UCLA and, um, Iowa. Not sure how the Hawkeyes slipped in there with the traditional powers, but so it goes.
The women’s team jumped three places from 2007, finishing fourth this year behind Tennessee, Connecticut, Iowa, Maryland and Stanford. Again with Iowa. Skewed polling! Conspiracy!
–by Ben Cohen