RALEIGH, N.C. — UNC may have beaten Duke on Feb. 3 at the Dean E. Smith Center, but that doesn't mean the excitement of the biggest rivalry in sports is over with for the 2023-24 season.
The two highly ranked teams in the Associated Press Top-25 basketball poll will meet up again on March 9, this time in Durham, and Duke University students are already getting ready for highly anticipated rematch.
Starting on Jan. 21, students lived out in tents in K-Ville right outside Cameron Indoor Stadium in an effort to get student-tickets to the game. Only a limited amount of spots are available inside the incredible, yet tiny arena, so students have to show their dedication to the Blue Devils until March 2 in order to get inside.
Tenting means that students must live in a tent, with no electricity or generators allowed. That means that as long as the temperature does not drop below 32 degrees Fahrenheit, students are expected to stay warm and brave through the winter nights.
About 130 groups of students take part in tenting, equaling out to about 1,000 students.
"Like the highlight of Duke student experience here, completely worth it," Duke student and head line monitor Nick Tsintolas said. "People often say, often imitated, never replicated, because they can't pull this off anywhere else."
At random times throughout the day, line monitors, who are basically in charge of the tenting process, as well as in charge of cheering that happens inside Cameron Indoor Stadium, will call "tent checks", making sure that students are actually following the rules and living in said tents.
Once a tent check is called, signaled by the sounding of a horn, students have five minutes to exit their tents and find a line monitor, checking in with them on behalf of their group. If a group misses two tent checks throughout the period of Jan. 21-March 2, then that group is sent to the back of the line, meaning they might not get a ticket inside Cameron.
During the night hours, the same rules apply, meaning that students are often being woken up, despite trying to get sleep so they can focus on classwork and exams the following day.
"I think tenting is one the most unique things about Duke because make's Duke, Duke, especially, all of the ownership that we have over this process is completely student run," Tsintolas said. "Line monitors are all students, and then we have all these tents here that are also filled with students."
One line monitor joked, with a hint of sincerity, that sometimes students aren’t too happy with line monitors due to the regularity of nighttime tent checks.
They might have things thrown at them as they run around performing checks. It's part of the reason why they try to keep the location of their own tent secret, so that students don't pull pranks on them when they aren't looking. One year, the tent check bull horn was even stolen from the line monitors' tent.
Tsintolas says that often, a single tent can have 10-12 people sleeping in a tent at once. It's not a lot of space, and items allowed in the tent are limited due to fire hazards, but the end goal is well worth it.
Tents will have sleeping bags, blankets, pillows, bins for shoes, food, and variety of other necessities needed to sleep in a tent. To make sure students can get their classwork done, there's a large tent with outlets and tables that provide a space for students to do their homework.