The University of North Carolina has claimed a unique victory over its in-state rivals by proudly boasting the most sought-after college jerseys in the state.
It helps that Michael Jordan, perhaps the greatest basketball player of all time who once resided in Chapel Hill nearly four decades ago, continues to be strongly represented through his UNC blue and white jerseys.
Duke, another prestigious institution in North Carolina, certainly deserved its place on this list as well. Both Kyrie Irving and Zion Williamson continue to be recognized for their short (especially in Irving's case) but successful college careers, evident by the widespread demand for their jerseys.
While UNC and Duke University overwhelmingly dominate this list, it is worth exploring which other athletes and schools in their respective sports have secured their place among the state’s most popular college jerseys.
BetCarolina.com, your home to North Carolina sports betting, utilized Google Trends to determine the most searched college sports jerseys in the state. For the study, only colleges in North Carolina were included.
After completing the trends over the past 12 months (from July 2022 to July 2023), we were able to find results to get the top five college sports jerseys for the state of North Carolina.
Keep tabs on BetCarolina.com for the latest on the Tar Heels’ and Blue Devils’ upcoming basketball seasons, plus incoming NC betting apps.
North Carolina's Most Popular Jerseys
UNC and Duke Dominate List
Even after nearly 40 years, Michael Jordan’s legacy remains immortalized in the Tar Heel State, earning the state’s most popular college jersey. With a nine-point search interest compared to other topics, Jordan’s UNC jersey holds a commanding lead above second-place Drake Maye by three points.
One of the most surprising revelations on this list is the popularity of Drake Maye’s college jersey in North Carolina. However, the hype surrounding Maye is undeniable. Not only has he emerged as a leading Heisman Trophy contender, with FanDuel offering +1800 odds to win it, but he is also expected to become a first-round selection in the 2024 NFL Draft. The Tar Heels’ +850 to win the ACC may also be a reflection of that. Look for a FanDuel North Carolina promo code when the state launches mobile betting early next year.
At last, Duke has claimed its spot on the list. Former number one overall picks in 2011 and 2019, Kyrie Irving and Zion Williamson were two of the most electrifying Duke products in the Coach K era, despite their brief college careers. Both one-year starters, Irving played a mere 11 games as a Blue Devil, while Williamson competed in 33 games and led his team to the 2018-2019 Elite Eight. Their enduring popularity will continue to grow as both share the distinction of having the third-most popular college jerseys in North Carolina.
Also tied for third is no other than Vince Carter, affectionately known as “Half-Man Half-Amazing,” who concluded a legendary career under Dean Smith as a three-year starter playing in 103 games and reaching two Final Fours. His legacy is further emphasized by possessing one of the five most popular college jerseys in the state.
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