Team basketball videos inflame Duke-Kentucky rivalry

Basketball season is just beginning, but the rivalry between University of Kentucky and Duke University has already intensified.

On Twitter Tuesday, Duke posted a video similar in style to the opening credits of the Netflix series “Stranger Things.” The Duke video flashed the names of each of the players and coaches for the new season, much like the TV show displays the name of its actors.

The only problem is, Rupp Arena did the same thing last year to preview Big Blue Madness. Rupp chose a blue theme then as Duke did Tuesday. The TV show, which started in July 2016, uses red lettering.

The Rupp Arena account on Twitter was quick to point out the Duke video was much like the UK video of last season, telling @DukeMBB “I guess imitation is the greatest form of flattery?”

Mike Cragg, deputy director of athletics at Duke, said he had no idea about Kentucky’s video from a year ago prior to Duke making its own.

“Now that it has been called to our attention with the Twitter tweet reply — we applaud them for it. It was very well done!” Cragg said.

There is a connection between Duke and the creators of “Stranger Things,” Matt and Ross Duffer. They grew up in Durham, N.C., and went to Duke School for Children while in grade school.

The people behind the video project had been working for two weeks to tie in pop culture, Halloween, the excitement for the college basketball season and a local Durham angle, with a “Stranger Things” video being their perfect solution, Cragg said.

Kentucky fans appeared to jump behind Rupp Arena, making fun of Duke. One brought up a famous case of copying by posting a photo showing Melania Trump and Michelle Obama. Trump was criticized for a speech that appeared to repeat parts of an earlier Obama speech.

It’s the first jab of the new season between the teams, who are both ranked in the top five in the country in the USA Today Coaches Poll.

Mike Stunson: 859-231-1324, @mike_stunson