Duke fans relish a win at home
Payback was the word of the night for Duke fans.
Carolina Ale House on Durham-Chapel Hill Boulevard had its share of fans with the rivalry between them as fierce as between the players. With a 93-81 win, Duke avenged its previous loss to the Tar Heels.
“I’m going to celebrate,” said Michelle Harts. “I’ve been calling and texting all of the Tar Heel fans I know. I might go to Chapel Hill and celebrate with my Duke attire on!”
UNC beat Duke 74-66 when they faced off in February in the Dean Dome.
Abby Fulp, Joe Hardin and Crystal Ki demonstrated the Carolina-Duke dynamic. Fulp is a graduate student at Duke, Ki is an alumna and staff member at UNC and Hardin is the neutral party, a student at N.C. State University.
Fulp said early on that the trash talking was mounting, despite being best friends with Ki.
“I think all around they have a great history,” Fulp said of Duke “Their energy will carry the game. Being in K-ville will bring the energy.”
Ki wasn’t convinced Duke would upset UNC, considering their earlier loss to them and most recently to Wake Forest.
“UNC is on a huge high right now,” she said. “Coach (Roy) Williams has been showing great coaching strategy against Duke before.”
“I do expect them to be hungry, though,” said Ki. “It’s going to be a good game.”
Hardin said that he couldn’t choose between UNC and Duke and had “prayed to Mr. Wolf and Mrs. Wolf that they would both lose. I don’t know how, though.”
While the men faced off in Durham, the UNC and Duke women’s basketball teams squared off in Greensboro in the ACC tournament. The Blue Devils edged the Tar Heels in that contest too.
Kenny Thompson is a UNC fan. He was pretty calm as he watched the Tar Heels trail Duke at halftime.
“Duke’s killing us right now,” he said. “We’re still going to be in the ACC tournament.”
Kenny agreed with Fulp, that playing on their home court gave Duke an advantage.
Kenny’s wife, Pam, was not as into the game as her husband.
“I’m not really a fan,” she said. “They go crazy. Since I don’t understand it, I don’t get it.”
Duke students celebrated on campus with the traditional burning of benches. On the quad in front of Duke Chapel, one bench after another was tossed into the celebratory fire. Students cheered, played music, donned blue and white face paint and Duke attire as they reveled in their win.
Ted and Ann Million are 30-year Duke alumni. Hand in hand, the couple said that the night’s game was excellent.
“We saw a great game,” Ted said. “We expected a very nice, fun victory and we got what we expected.”
“It’s always fun to be on campus,” said Ann.
“And it’s always fun to beat Carolina,” said Ted.
Seniors Kathleen Oshima and Christina Malliris rocked face paint and light-up Blue Devil horns as they celebrated.
“This is my last game,” Oshima said. “It’s a great way to go out. After the first half, I was feeling pretty good. I forgot how good it is to go to a Duke UNC game.”