DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) — The big Duke vs. UNC game is Thursday, but Duke students have been gearing up for the rivalry for weeks. Fans camp out in what they call K-Ville, named after Coach K, to try and get a good seat for the match-up.
There are many rules for the K-Ville tent area, but students have them memorized by heart and live by them sometimes for up to six weeks.
“Duke vs. UNC is one of the greatest college rivalries in basketball and all of sports in general,” said Duke sophomore Spencer Hutchinson, who takes part in the K-Ville Tradition.
Students are serious about seeing their Blue Devils take on the Tar Heels, and so much so that 31 years ago they started camping out ahead of the game in order to get the best view of the action.
“We just kind of come out here, bring some friends, some snacks, listen to music, do some homework maybe,” said Duke senior Basil Seif.
The most serious of fans set up tents weeks ahead of the game, and must have someone there day and night.
“Right now it’s fun and it’s nice weather, 70 degrees outside, but when it’s 40 to 30 degrees out at night and you’re in a sleeping bag, it’s not that much fun,” said senior Jordan Cohen, who experienced the cold last year.
The cold weather is a reason why there’s a strategy to tenting.
“You’ve got to get the crates that go underneath. People don’t know really that there’s a lot of parts. And then you have to find cardboard to go on top of the crates so you’re not sleeping on like holes,” said fellow senior Natalie Smithson.
Natalie says there are then lots of layers and a sleeping bag involved. Some of the more seasoned fans opt for the walk-up line starting two days before the game. But, either way there’s excitement in the air and pride in their tradition.
“I don’t see any UNC fans tenting,” said Seif.
“It’s like a staple of your Duke career. You have to go to it, if you don’t, you didn’t do your Duke experience well,” said Cohen.