The Harvard-Duke lacrosse game this Friday not only represents the meeting of two lacrosse and academic powerhouses, but it also marks the latest installment in the budding Ivy League-ACC rivalry.
Yes, the Ivy League-ACC rivalry.
While the competition between the two conferences may be largely limited to lacrosse—though don’t forget the Crimson’s recent success against Boston College in men’s basketball and men's soccer, it’s nothing short of the SEC-Big 12 college football rivalry in intrigue and intensity.
Last year, Cornell discarded then-No. 5 Virginia in last year’s national lacrosse semifinal, 15-6. Virginia returned the favor two weeks ago when the Cavaliers traveled to Ithaca and embarrassed the Big Red, 12-4.
That same week, North Carolina traveled to Princeton and came out on the winning side of a 12-11 nail-biter.
And who can forget Harvard coming out in its 2009 season opener and dumping then-No. 5 Duke in Durham, 9-5.
All four ACC teams, including North Carolina and Virginia—the nation’s only remaining undefeated teams—and five out of the seven Ivy League teams were in the most recent Inside Lacrosse Top 20 poll.
Overall, the Ivy League is 31-13 in nonconference play this season while the ACC is a staggering 28-1.
With nearly half of the nation’s best lacrosse teams coming from these two conferences, expect the Ivy League-ACC classics to continue for some time.