Duke, NC State men’s basketball teams hold practice events for fans ahead of new season

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DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) — College basketball is back in the Triangle, as North Carolina State and Duke fans are ready to tip-off the new season.

For Martha Valent, C.A. Cabaniss and Barbara Stalzer, Duke basketball has been a passion ever since becoming alums nearly 50 years ago.

“It’s the best program, and I defend it up and down the highway,” Valent said. “It just sums up all of the enthusiasm and the love that we have for whatever part of the university that is our special passion.”

Blue Devil fans packed Cameron Indoor Stadium for this year’s Countdown to Craziness.

In Raleigh, Wolfpack fans gathered for N.C. State’s Primetime with the Pack. Both events tipped-off college basketball for both schools.

For Omar Rodriguez, driving from Sanford for Countdown to Craziness is tradition.

“It’s just a good environment, it’s just exciting,” Rodriguez said. “It’s really just to see what they’re going to look like.”

Micah Maltba and his son, Dylan, made the five-hour drive from Tennessee to cheer on Duke, and get a firsthand look at Coach Krzyzewski and his players.

“It’s just an exciting time of the year,” Maltba said. “To me, it’s a lot more personal. Everything is just kind of family-based.”

Fans have high hopes as the season gets underway.

Later this month, N.C. State will face off against Mount Olive.

Meanwhile, Duke opens its regular season against Kansas in Madison Square Garden on Nov. 5.

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