Calvin–Hope men's basketball rivalry

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The Calvin–Hope men's basketball rivalry is a college sports rivalry between the men's basketball teams of Hope College Flying Dutch of Holland, Michigan, and the Calvin College Knights of Grand Rapids, Michigan, which participate at the NCAA Division III level.[1][2]


The men's basketball teams first played each other in 1920.[3] Through January 2015, the men's basketball teams have played 189 times, with the Hope Flying Dutchmen leading with 98 wins to the Calvin Knights' 91 wins.[4] The rivalry, which originates from the historical separation of the Reformed Church in America and the Christian Reformed Church in North America, operates on a basis of more similarity than difference. Tom Davelaar, assistant coach to Hope's basketball team, once said, "... both schools and fan bases are so alike - and yet we think we're different somehow. We're really just two peas in a pod."[5]


In 2005, ESPN polled its staff about who they thought were America's greatest college basketball rivalries, and the Calvin–Hope rivalry was voted fourth in all college basketball behind Carolina–Duke rivalry, Connecticut–Tennessee women's basketball rivalry, and Kentucky–Louisville rivalry.[6] ESPN also conducted an on-line "fan poll" in which 80% of voters picked the Knights vs. Flying Dutchmen.[7]

The rivalry between the two colleges is most prominent in basketball; however, the rivalry spans the schools' athletics.[1]


  1. ^ a b Reynolds, Lauren (July 24, 2007). "No hate, just heat in Hope–Calvin rivalry". Retrieved March 11, 2010. While the rivalry began across all sports, it has grown into a national event in men's basketball. 
  2. ^ Behm, Jon (January 22, 2010). "Rivalry 93 years in making". Chimes. Calvin College. Retrieved March 18, 2010. 
  3. ^ Beardsley, Howie (January 7, 2010). "Calvin men win bragging rights against Hope behind freshman Bryan Powell's 3s". The Grand Rapids Press. Retrieved January 26, 2011. 
  4. ^ Renner, Tom and Jeff Febus (January 31, 2011). "Men's Rivalry: The History". Retrieved January 31, 2011. 
  5. ^ Cacciola, Scott. "Rivalry's Edict: Drub Thy Neighbor". Hope vs. Calvin: Rivalry in Michigan runs hot and hotter. The New York Times. Retrieved June 23, 2015. 
  6. ^ Behm, Jon (February 26, 2010). "The Calvin–Hope Rivalry: from obscurity to national limelight". Chimes. Calvin College. Retrieved March 18, 2010. 
  7. ^ Hope College. "ESPN Say Hope-Calvin Rivalry Among the Best". Hope Today News. Hope College. Retrieved June 24, 2015. 

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