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Make a slam dunk for a good cause through a coffee-drinking contest that pits Carolina against rivals Duke and N.C. State.

The Battle for Bean Street contest began at the start of the basketball season and ends April 1. Customers of Kangaroo Express stores in the Triangle can buy 20-ounce cups of Bean Street coffee that bear the logos and colors of the three universities.

Each Carolina blue cup scores a point for UNC. As of March 17, Carolina led with 43,328 points; N.C. State had 40,811 points; and Duke had 25,162 points.

The winning school gets $20,000 for a charity of its choice. If Carolina wins, the prize will support UNC Build a Block, a partnership with Habitat for Humanity of Orange County to build 10 homes for staff employees during the 2010-11 academic year.

“Students came up with the idea to build houses for Carolina employees when they saw the need for it,” said Susan Bourner, the Habitat liaison for Build a Block. “Now, they need us. With this contest, the entire Carolina community can lend them a big hand just by picking up a cup of coffee.”

Duke’s beneficiary is the Duke Comprehensive Cancer Center, and State’s is the Kay Yow Cancer Fund, a partner of the V Foundation for Cancer Research.