DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) — Fans said the cheers were louder and the game — even wilder!
Duke and UNC students and fans came out in the tens of thousands to cheer on one of college basketball’s greatest rivalries Saturday night.
The Blue Devils and Tar Heels put on a close match, leaving fans sitting on the edge of their seats at Cameron Indoor Stadium.
In the final minutes, Duke pulled ahead with a win 63-57.
“You feel the energy out here, it’s a great day today. Duke and Carolina, I mean one of the all-time great matchups, we’ve been out here for a couple of days now, it’s been absolutely electric,” said one Duke student while waiting in line outside Cameron Indoor.
Several students, including Robbie Patterson, said they took on the cold and set up a tent near the stadium to guarantee them a seat inside.
“It’s one of the most watched games, people hype it up, it’s an awesome experience,” Patterson said. “And it’s just fun to be in there to cheer the team on.”
Some Duke fans told us they traveled from out of state to attend.
One family said they even booked a flight from Philadelphia for the single day to attend one of the most anticipated games.
After the big win, Duke students carried that excitement from the game to the West Campus for a celebration and bonfire.
Students said it’s a tradition to burn a bench after the rivalry win.
“Having Coach Scheyer in his first year getting a big win at home for the team against our uptown rival, it’s just a really big win for everybody- especially the fans and the players,” said Brandi Pinnell, who traveled from Morrisville with her sister to watch the game.
While both teams are not ranked, Pinnell added, “We’re happy, we definitely wanted payback from the Final Four last year!”