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AP: Duke Keeping Pace in Tobacco Road Arms Race
Courtesy: Associated Press
Release: 04/04/2010
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Jon Scheyer, Kyle Singler, Nolan Smith, Lance Thomas and Brian Zoubek met with the media on Sunday.
Photo Courtesy: Associated Press
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INDIANAPOLIS – Duke is doing its part to keep pace in its arms race on Tobacco Road.

The Blue Devils play Butler on Monday night in the national championship game, and a win would bring consecutive NCAA titles to the North Carolina Triangle for the first time in 17 years.

The last time Duke and rival North Carolina claimed back-to-back championships was in 1992 and '93, when the Tar Heels followed Duke's second straight title with their second under coach Dean Smith.

North Carolina won last year's title — and the Blue Devils, with their campus situated 8 miles north of Chapel Hill, couldn't help but hear all about it.

"I didn't watch a whole lot of the Final Four" last year, Duke guard Jon Scheyer said. "It was tough for me to watch. ... I couldn't have told you exactly how it would be this year. But you know, for us, this is where we expected to be this year. This is the position we wanted to be in. We're going to make the most of it."

If the Blue Devils beat the Bulldogs, they will add to an already lengthy list of accomplishments for two of college basketball's most storied programs.

At least one of the programs has reached the Final Four in 15 of the past 20 years, and already the Blue Devils and North Carolina have claimed three titles apiece during that stretch. That's one more than any other conference — the Southeastern Conference has won five titles since 1991.