After losing the Carlyle Cup to the Tar Heels last year, 15-11, Duke is on pace to bring it back up Tobacco Road. One third of the way through the athletic year, the Blue Devils are ahead 4.5-1.5.
The competition between Duke and UNC-sponsored by jewelers Carlyle and Co. and established in 2000-divides 26 points between the universities for contests in 23 sports.
Before the 2003-2004 season, a change in the rules for the Cup designated two points for series wins in football and basketball and one point for a series win in non-revenue sports. If Duke and North Carolina tie the season series in any sport, the point total is split between the two rivals.
This year the Blue Devils broke open the race Oct. 31 when the cross country teams bested UNC at the ACC Championships and earned two points for Duke. The top-ranked women's cross country team defended their ACC title while the men's team placed fifth, bringing the overall Carlyle point total to 4.5-.5.
Since then, however, the Tar Heels have picked up ground. Duke lost to UNC in both women's soccer and volleyball Nov. 4, splitting the points for these teams after earlier Blue Devil victories.
On Oct. 9, the then-No. 11 Duke women's soccer team upset the then-top-ranked Tar Heels 2-1 at UNC's Fetzer Field. The win was only the second for the Blue Devils against North Carolina in school history and the Tar Heels' first loss in 41 games. It was also the Tar Heels' first home loss in over six years.
Duke field hockey won the first Carlyle point this season with a 2-1 win Sept. 23 in Chapel Hill. Although this win has earned the Blue Devils a full point so far, Duke could split the point if they face the Tar Heels in the NCAA tournament and lose. Last season, the rival squads split the point.
The Tar Heels won the 2004-2005 Carlyle Cup when UNC swept Duke in baseball April 24. In total, North Carolina either won or split points in 14 sport series that year.
In the competition's history, the Blue Devils lead Carolina in winning the Cup 3-2.
With the gap closing quickly, tonight's swimming and diving dual meet in Chapel Hill is important for Duke's points standing. The Blue Devils have not beaten the Tar Heels in a dual meet since Carlyle Cup play began. Duke, however, heads into the matchup after the women won their first ACC dual meet in 12 years over Miami and the men won their first in seven years over Maryland Oct. 5 .
The final Carlyle points for the fall season will be up for grabs when the Duke football team takes on Carolina in Chapel Hill Nov. 19.
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