Durham North Carolina Sports

North Carolina has never been home to a Major League Baseball club, but it is home to one of the most popular professional sports franchises in the United States, the Carolina Hurricanes of the National Hockey League, playing in a state-of-the-art arena that can accommodate more than 20,000 screaming fans. There is also a National Football League team, the Carolina Panthers, and a North Carolina State University football team throughout the state. The Carolina Tar Heels, a professional basketball team made famous by the film Bull Durham, also have broad support in Triangle.

The Charlotte Independence play in the North Carolina Soccer League, the second-highest professional football league in North America, and the Charlotte Knights of the United States Women's National League play their home games at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Charlotte.

Other major college teams in the state include North Carolina State University, UNC - Chapel Hill, Wake Forest, Duke, NC State and UNC Greensboro. In total, South Carolina has seven FBS teams, with the Charlotte Independence, the Charlotte Knights of the United States Women's National League and the Charlotte Blue Devils of the USL Pro.

North Carolina and NC State have won the East Atlantic Gymnastics League four times and won the division I three times, while UNC - Chapel Hill and UNC Greensboro each won three NCAA championships.

The Grand National Cross Country Series consists of off-road motorcycle races, and the only other state to host two GNCC events is Ohio. The annual PGA Tour stops in Greater Greensboro Open, alternating between several courses in Greensborough, and the North Carolina State Open in Raleigh.

The Duke-UNC basketball rivalry has been described as one of the best rivalries in sports, and the two schools are often contenders for the national title. FBS postseason games are the North Carolina State vs. Duke football game, the UNC-NC State basketball game. Charlotte is home to the Charlotte Hornets, Major League Baseball and Charlotte Motor Speedway. Consider Tobacco Road to see more than a four-way rivalry, as Tar Heel State hosts the Carolina Panthers and UNC Panthers, respectively.

In addition to the ACC schools, the University of North Carolina at Charlotte reached the NCAA Final Four in 1977, Davidson College in Charlotte in 1968, 1969, and 2008 an NCAA Elite Eight, and Elon University first entered the College Football Playoffs in 1981 and won back-to-back championships in 1980 and 1981. There has only been one other game between an ACC team from North Charlotte and a Duke team since Duke defeated Arkansas in the 1961 Cotton Bowl Classic. UNC won the national men's championship in 1976 before the Charlotte 49ers and the women's title in 1978 in front of more than 100,000 fans. Elon University moved to its current location in downtown Charlotte in 1990, just a few years after the new Charlotte Motor Speedway opened.

NC State won two (1974 and 1983) and UNC three (1976, 1978, 1983), while Duke won four (1977, 1979, 1981, 1982 and 1985). UNC has won the NCAA men's and women's basketball championships in the last four years, while NC State has won two titles in 1974, 1973, 1975 and 1981, and two in 1983.

While basketball remains the dominant college sport in North Carolina, several schools have also enjoyed success in football and other sports. But when you get to the heart of the matter, the region is known for its college teams, including UNC, UNC - Chapel Hill, NC State, Duke, Wake Forest, and Wake University. The state has hosted nine NCAA men's and women's basketball championships, with WakeForest winning three and North UNC six, making it the state with the highest number of championships in college basketball history. NC State Wolfpack legends Bob Huggins, Mike Krzyzewski, John Calipari, Jerry Colangelo and Jimbo Fisher make up the top five all-time NCAA tournament leaders.

Rugby union has seen a marked rise in popularity in North Carolina, with the NCYRU joint venture and varsity All-Star roster wins the 2014 team tournament unbeaten. Ultimate in North Carolina is the most popular high school sport in the state and one of the top three in America.

Wake Forest University, an ACC member, has been based in Cary since it moved to its current location in 1956. The NWSL team moved from Rochester, New York, to Cary in 2012 and moved into the NCFC home at WakeMed Soccer Park. Since the move, the team has played all games at the Cary Sports Complex, home of North Carolina's women's national team. That rise began with the opening of Wake Forest's first football stadium in the late 1990s.

The Carolina Cougars of the American Basketball Association played their first season in Cary, which ended in the spring of 1974, and played the rest of their existence at the Cary Sports Complex. The Carolina Pumas of the American Basketball League, the North Carolina Women's National Team and the Wake Forest Women's Basketball Team played their last game on April 1, 1974 at WakeMed Stadium.

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