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I love the ESPN SportsNation polls -- they provide an accurate picture of how a nation feels about any particular subject. There are the overall numbers for the U.S and international voters, but there's also a breakdown of how each state chose to vote. And that's where things can get interesting.

Tuesday's question was an intriguing one: Who is the most dominating in their particular sport? The Carolina Hurricanes (huh?), Detroit Pistons, Tiger Woods or UConn?

First of all, my nose was put out of joint by the thought of the Hurricanes dominating anyone in the league. They can be considered an elite team, similar to Ottawa, Detroit, Dallas and the like. The NHL is not Carolina, and everyone else. Whatever.

After 85,000+ votes, here was the breakdown: North Carolina was completely split between the 'Canes (33%), Pistons (33%) and Tiger (30%). UConn pulled down 3%.

How interesting.

How do you think the results in NC would've turned out, had ESPN not listed UConn, but instead chose a certain ACC team in the poll?

Like Duke, for example?

You can't tell me that if Duke was included, that they wouldn't have run away with the results. Most probably gave away their vote to either the Pistons or Tiger for this reason alone.

And as much as 'Canes Fan may claim otherwise, they need to resign themselves to the fact that they are a basketball-oriented state.

Worse still for both Carolina and the NHL, the only state other than NC that registered double digits for the Hurricanes was South Carolina, with 13%. All other states posted numbers between 2-5%.

It doesn't help to once again demonstrate how little of an inroad the NHL has made into the U.S. But it's made worse by the fact that ESPN chose to include a team in their polling that few care about, regardless of how well they are doing in the standings.

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