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Duke Blue Devils
Duke University's 26 varsity sports teams, known as the Blue Devils, compete in the Atlantic Coast Conference. The name comes from the French "les Diables Bleus" or "the Blue Devils," which was the nickname given during World War I to the Chasseurs Alpins, the French Alpine light infantry battalion.
Duke teams that have been ranked in the top ten nationally in the 2000s include men's and women's basketball, men's and women's tennis, men's and women's soccer, men's and women's cross country, men's and women's lacrosse, women's field hockey, and men's and women's golf. Eight of these teams were ranked either first or second in the country during 2004–05. According to a 2006 evaluation conducted by the NCAA, Duke's student-athletes have the highest graduation rate of any institution in the nation at 91%. Excluding students who leave or transfer in good academic standing, the graduation rate of student-athletes is 97%. In 2005, 2006, 2007, and 2011 Duke ranked first among Division I schools in the National Collegiate Scouting Association Power Rankings—a combination of the institution's Director's Cup standing, its athletic graduation rate, and its academic rank in U.S. News & World Report. There have been allegations that, like most other schools examined such as University of North Carolina, Duke's graduation rate may be inflated or be a result of athletes gravitating to easier courses and majors, though many have taken issue with such claims.
The Blue Devils have won fifteen NCAA National Championships. The women's golf team has won six (1999, 2002, 2005, 2006, 2007, and 2014), the men's basketball team has won four (1991, 1992, 2001, and 2010), men's lacrosse has won three (2010, 2013 and 2014), and the men's soccer (1986) and women's tennis (2009) teams have won one each. Duke's major historic rival, especially in basketball, has been the Tar Heels of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.