Tobacco Road

This passage is about Tobacco Road, which is a reference to the college basketball competition among the four main universities in North Carolina.

Lexile Level: 1280L

Categories: People & Places Sports & Health


There is a road in North Carolina that exists only in the minds of basketball enthusiasts. Tobacco Road refers to the connection between four of the state's universities and the history of college basketball. Duke University, North Carolina State University, the University of North Carolina, and Wake Forest University have been home to legendary players and intense rivalries for many decades. In 1905, a team from Wake Forest went to Trinity College, which would later become Duke University, to compete in the Angier Duke Gymnasium. Many historians believe this to be the first basketball game conducted south of the Mason-Dixon line. In the century that followed, Tobacco Road would be traveled by such memorable players as Billy Packer, David Thompson, Mike Gminski, and Michael Jordan along with some of the most successful coaches in college basketball history, including Dean Smith and Mike Krzyzewski. So while travelers may not see exits off the interstate to Tobacco Road, many North Carolina basketball fans know of no more important thoroughfare.


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