coach K

Emotions Run High at Cameron Indoor Following Duke's Loss to UNC in Coach K's Final Regular Season Game

Tickets went for nearly $80,000 and students began camping out over a month in advance

USA Today

UNC fans have finally enacted their revenge on Duke in more ways than one.

The unranked Tar Heels shocked the Blue Devils on Saturday when they won the crosstown rivalry 94-81, spoiling Coach K’s final farewell to the Cameron Crazies. This sparked an outpouring of emotion within the arena and suddenly the Crying Jordan had met its match. 

NBA Twitter personality Josiah Johnson even merged the legendary coach’s face with the Jordan meme. 

Emotions weren’t exclusive to the Blue Devils. Celebrating a different outcome, members of the Tar Heel locker room got choked up following Saturday’s competition.

Even the usually stoic Coach K himself fought back tears ahead of tipoff. 

Saturday’s matchup was a high energy event, with many having gone to great lengths to attend the game. 

In addition to the typical fanfare of a retirement and rivalry, fans paid a pretty penny to make it inside Cameron Indoor Stadium. In the week leading up to the game, 290 tickets were available on StubHub for an average price of $5,392. Hours before the game, it was reported that tickets were going for as much as $79,988. It was cheaper to go to Super Bowl 56 -- which set records for the sky-high prices. 

Meanwhile, 840 students had the opportunity to earn a spot among the Cameron Crazies. 

To say they earned these spots is not an exaggeration. Students had to go through a nearly six-week process that included a written test evaluating their knowledge of Duke basketball and Coach K himself just to earn the right to pitch a tent in the famed “Krzyzewskiville.” 

Students then spent the next 32 days rotating in groups of 12 to ensure that their tents were properly filled. This meant two students in a tent at all times and at least six of the 12 sleeping in the tent every night. 

Despite the emotional ending to the regular season, the road continues for both teams in the ACC Tournament set to begin Tuesday. As the No. 1 and No. 3 respective seeds in the conference, Duke and North Carolina earned byes to the quarterfinals scheduled for Thursday, March 10. 

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