Before heading to the game tonight we traveled to the Duke campus to look around and then back to North Carolina to check out their basketball museum. Once again the Duke campus is covered in pine trees and tucked away in the forest. It's beautiful but something I continue to have to get used to coming from the open spaces of West Texas.
The Duke campus is constructed mainly of blue stone that is quarried from near by. I didn't realize it was only established in 1925, I assumed it was much older just from looking at photos of the architecture. Regardless, it is a very nice campus with a lot of green spaces mixed with trees. Some of the building are a little more current but blend in nicely with the older buildings.
Our main purpose was to see the basketball museum and hopefully get a peek inside Cameron before the game tomorrow. We accomplished one of those goals. The basketball museum had trophies and tons of photos and artifacts from over the years. With all that Duke has done, it's pretty easy to fill out a huge space. It's cool to see some of the smaller items that aren't trophies as well; Final Four tickets, shoes from players, press passes, and old jerseys.
After walking through the museum, we made several attempts to get inside the actual gym but couldn't find the unlocked door. And I think we tried them all, along with a few others who were on the same quest. We did find another display inside the lobby of the gym but that's as far as we got inside. We will have to wait till tomorrow night.
When we were finished visiting the bookstore and the Duke Chapel, we headed to Chapel Hill. UNC also has a basketball museum we wanted to see. It was quite impressive and setup a little more like a museum than Duke. They had more of these artifacts from over the years- Roy Williams practice plans, shoes, letter jackets, a "shrine" to Michael Jordan, and of course their championship trophies. We also attempted to get back inside the Dean Smith Center but they weren't finished with practice so no luck on that either.
Back at the hotel we took a brief rest and headed to the PNC Arena for our third game of the trip. It's definitely a newer arena and despite being a little smaller than the Dean Smith Center, felt bigger to me. The crowd was in to it from the start, probably because they consider UNC their rival, even though UNC would say it's Duke. With such a large crowd the noise was over the top to start the game, but UNC eventually took the lead and held on at the end for a comfortable victory.
One last game in North Carolina and it's the one I've been waiting to see for my entire life- Duke at Cameron Indoor Stadium.