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NCAAB · a month ago

College Basketball Rivalries that We Must Protect

David Connelly - SportsGrid

David Connelly - SportsGrid

College Basketball Rivalries that We Must Protect

Rivalries are at the heart of college sports. There is no better feeling than taking down the team you hate the most and being able to rub it in their face for the entire season.

As we embrace the tradition and competition that makes collegiate athletics unique, we rank the top five rivalries in college basketball that we cannot afford to lose in conference realignment.

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1. North Carolina vs. Duke

It’s the rivalry that all rivalries are compared. One of the best in all sports, North Carolina and Duke is considered sacred. Untouchable. Timeless. There is a world where the other conference rivalries on this list could be tampered with, but the state of North Carolina would collapse if that day ever came between the Tar Heels and Blue Devils.

2. UCLA vs. Arizona

These two have constantly duked it out for the Pac-12 crown over the past few decades. They have combined for 49 regular-season conference titles, 13 conference tournament championships, 86 NCAA Tournament appearances, 23 Final Fours, and 12 national titles. It’s typically a blockbuster showdown when these two meet up out west.

3. Kansas vs. Kansas State

No matter how good or bad Kansas State is, this one gets circled on the calendar by Jayhawks fans. And with the fair amount of success the Wildcats have seen in basketball over the past 15 seasons, it has spiced things up. Just look at the massive brawl between the two schools in 2020 as evidence of their hatred for each other.

4. Oklahoma vs. Oklahoma State

The Bedlam Series may be more well-known in football, but it has plenty to offer on the court. At the very least, these two are competitive in the Big 12 most of the time and can provide some exciting matchups throughout the conference season. Just 67 miles apart in the panhandle state, it’s always appointment television whenever these two clash.

5. Gonzaga vs. Saint Mary’s

This is a sneaky rivalry within college hoops that recently budded within the past decade or two. While the Bulldogs typically get the better end of this one, Saint Mary’s program has constantly been able to give the Bulldogs fits. In the last six seasons, Gonzaga has just six conference losses. Four of them have come at the hands of the Gaels.

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