There are two sporting competitions, in tournament format that captivate us unlike any other this time of year: college basketball’s NCAA Tournament, also known as “March Madness,” and the UEFA Champions League.
In late winter and early spring, sports fans all across the globe are transfixed by both tourneys. In this month we see both March Madness and the UCL transpire, so it’s a whole non-stop sports buffet on tap right now.
Real Madrid = Duke
The time has come for college basketball/European football doppelgangers. And this isn’t the first time that we’ve done the soccer/football/futbol synergies with college basketball, or with teams in other sports as well.
Be sure to check out our 2014 World Cup Round of 16 nations-college basketball program doppelgangers.
They are the biggest brand name in both sports, featuring the most well-known (and often polarizing) individuals in each respective game. Madrid are Los Reyes Del Europa (the Kings of Europe), because they have the won more European Cups/Champions League titles than anybody (14).
In fact, they have double the next closest club- AC Milan have 7.
Likewise Duke have been the most dominant school during the modern era of the NCAA Tournament. Since seeding began, and the tournament expanded to 64 teams in 1985, Duke is the only school to win it all five times.
Both programs reside at the top of the monarchial structure in their respective games; so much so that their very names literally include references to royalty.
And their fans will let you know that too.These two clubs/teams/schools brands are both beloved and extremely despised. And it’s not just because of “they hate us cuz they ain’t us.”
Both franchises exude money, power and elitism- and they don’t exactly go out of their way to be down to Earth or relatable either.
Also, it’s worth noting that the dirtiest active player, arguably, in both their respective sports, first made their name with this side.
Sergio Ramos, now with Paris Saint-Germain, often played well within the grey areas of the rules with Real Madrid. Grayson Allen, well you must be trippin’ if you don’t think he plays the game of basketball (graduated from Duke, now in the NBA) like a completely ruthless as*hole.
If we wanted to do our doppelgangers in descending order from strongest analogy to weakest, then this is the article we would have posted first, because no analogy came more naturally than Duke and Real Madrid.
March Madness and Champions League Doppelgangers Series
Paul M. Banks is the owner/manager of The Sports Bank. He’s also the author of “Transatlantic Passage: How the English Premier League Redefined Soccer in America,” and “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry.”
He’s written for numerous publications, including the New York Daily News, Sports Illustrated and the Chicago Tribune. He regularly appears on NTD News and WGN News Now. Follow the website on Twitter and Instagram.