Who on Tobacco Road Produces Better NBA Talent, Duke Or UNC?

Who on Tobacco Road Produces Better NBA Talent, Duke Or UNC?

There might not be a better sports rivalry than Duke and North Carolina basketball, especially across hypothetical North Carolina sports betting. From "I Hate Christian Laettner" to a bloody Tyler Hansbrough, the battle for Tobacco Road spans decades across college basketball history, involving iconic coaches like Dean Smith, Mike Krzyzewski, Roy Williams and now Jon Scheyer and Hubert Davis. 

📊 Latest UNC vs Duke Odds

The passion (and hatred) each fanbase holds for the other is unrivaled, and while Duke's season sweep this past season is top of mind at the moment, the Tar Heels bouncing Coach K from the Final Four in 2022 in his last ever game will understandably take Blue Devils fans decades to recover from. 

That defeat to send Coach K into retirement in part reignited the rivalry for years to come. But with UNC owning a 143-117 series record over Duke at the moment, we need a few different angles to measure two of the top hoops programs in the country. 

So to add a little more fuel to the UNC-Duke fire ahead of March Madness, BetCarolina.com utilized basketball.realgm.com and basketball-reference.com to determine the total number of NBA All-Star appearances from each school since 1993. 

Our results? Let's just say Heels fans may want to look away.

Duke NBA All-Stars vs. UNC NBA All-Stars Since 1993

Duke Alum No. of All-Star Selections (28) UNC Alum No. of All-Star Selections (16)
Kyrie Irving 8 Jerry Stackhouse2
Grant Hill7 Antawn Jamison2
Jayson Tatum 4 Rasheed Wallace4
Zion Williamson 2 Vince Carter8
Elton Brand2
Carlos Boozer 2
Luol Deng 2
Brandon Ingram 1

Recent Years Favor Duke As Better Pros

While we know UNC can always claim Michael Jordan as the GOAT (sorry LeBron James), since 1993 Duke has clearly produced better pros than the Tar Heels. 

In fact, it's not terribly close. 

Tar Heel alums have accumulated 16 total All-Star Game appearances since 1993, but only 4 players in total are responsible for that number. High-flying Vince Carter led the way with 8 All-Star selections, followed by Rasheed Wallace (4) and Jerry Stackhouse and Antawn Jamison (2 each). 

An alarming stat for Heels fans: UNC has not had an NBA All-Star since 2008.

That pales in comparison to Duke and their NBA productivity in recent years. 

In fact, Duke alums have accumulated 28 total All-Star Game appearances since 1993, and with young stars like Zion Williamson and Jayson Tatum still early in their careers, it's fair to expect this gap to widen considerably in the years to come. 

Kyrie Irving (who, let's be honest, Duke may or may not want to claim) leads the way with eight selections, while Grant Hill was selected seven times during his career. Elton Brand, Carlos Boozer and Luol Deng each had multiple selections, and Brandon Ingram is another young player who could add to his tally in the years to come as well. 

But with 25-year-old Tatum leading the way (he has already made four All-Star teams), Duke for the moment appears to have a stranglehold on the argument of which school produces the better pros. 

But don't worry Heels fans, that 2022 Final Four is still on the DVR.

Stay close to BetCarolina.com for more March Madness coverage, as well as for North Carolina sportsbook promo codes.



Thomas Leary is an editor and writer for BetCarolina.com, with a focus on the Panthers, Hornets and college sports. He previously worked at Sports Business Journal.

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