Durham, NC — Duke University students lined up Monday outside the Duke Athletics Ticket Office in the Scott Family Athletic Performance Center for their chance to go the Final Four.
A total of 700 Duke students will get picked from a lottery selection to watch the Blue Devils play the North Carolina Tar Heels in New Orleans.
The lottery entry process goes until 6 pm Monday. Students wanting to attend the game must have a valid Duke ID and show up in person to enter the lottery.
WRAL News spoke with several Duke students in line Monday hoping to get selected to attend the Final Four. Peter Ricco, a graduate student and nurse at Duke Hospital, stopped by during his lunch break.
“Having worked in healthcare throughout COVID and stuff, this would just be an unbelievable experience,” Ricco said.
Ricco admitted he was nervous for Saturday night’s game.
“We’re trying to bring Cameron to the Big Easy, so I’m hoping they can handle us,” he said.
Graduate student Ashley Weeks also waited in line Monday for the lottery.
“Hopefully, we’ll get to go,” Weeks said. “I think it would be crazy if Coach K actually pulls this out.”
Graduate student Morgan Paul attends Duke, but is from Chapel Hill.
“My whole family will, like, probably freak out if I’m there,” Paul said.
Each lottery winner is permitted to purchase one $20 ticket, which is valid for the semifinal game against North Carolina. If Duke wins and goes to Monday’s national title game, the university said lottery winners would automatically have a ticket and receive more information on accessing their ticket on Sunday.
Payment must be provided upon entry into the lottery and lottery winners will automatically get charged if they win. Student tickets are non-transferable.
Lottery winners are notified Tuesday night by email. Tickets are accessed via cell phone.
Duke’s Student Affairs Office is offering students financial support for lodging and travel if they do win a ticket.
For students who don’t win tickets, Duke is also planning a watch party for Saturday night in Cameron Indoor Stadium. On Wednesday, the university plans to send out information about its Saturday watch party at Cameron Indoor Stadium and bonfire afterwards.
Tipoff between Duke and North Carolina is scheduled for 8:49 pm on Saturday. The winner will play the winner of the Kansas-Villanova semifinal game. The national title game is scheduled for Monday night.
Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski is due to make his 13th Final Four appearance after a 78-69 win in the Elite Eight against Arkansas.
“He’s already a legend, so it’s kind of just icing on the cake to be honest,” Paul said.
Duke law student Zach Engel explained what it would mean to him if he gets to go to the Final Four.
“It would just be super awesome to get to see Coach K win his sixth (championship),” Engel said. “That would just be an incredible experience.”
The last time the Blue Devils played the Tar Heels, North Carolina upset Duke at Cameron Indoor Stadium in Krzyzewski’s final home game.
Duke University Divinity School student Max Miller said a Duke win over North Carolina in the Final Four would make up for the 94-81 loss on March 5.
“This is the rubber match,” Miller said. “They each won in each other’s building. It’ll be decided on a neutral court.”
On Feb. 5, Duke beat North Carolina 87-67 in Chapel Hill.
“It’s the first time UNC and Duke have ever met in the tournament and I think it’s pretty fitting for Coach K’s last year,” said Duke law student Mark Lampert.