It began to look a lot like winter in Krzyzewskiville this week.
Breaking with tradition, line monitors—who oversee the student tent city that assembles to gain entry to basketball games—decided earlier this week to allow the use of tents by those lining up for Wednesday’s game against No. 4 Ohio State. In the past, tents had only been allowed in K-Ville during official tenting for North Carolina games, which starts every year in January.
“It’s a decision we made for this game only,” head line monitor Bradley Baird said. “We knew it was going to be a big game.”
Junior Scott Cara viewed the decision as part of a larger effort to make lining up in K-Ville more student-friendly with the hope of reinvigorating the Blue Devil student fan base.
“I think the amount of Craziness has gone down in recent years,” Cara said. ”I’ve noticed it myself the last two years.”
Cara associated the allowance of tents to the reduction of the required portion of a group to be present at each check-in to one-third. Until this year, line monitors required each group in line to have at least half of its members present to pass a tent check.
Unlike the relaxing of the check-in policy, the allowance of tents was not necessarily planned or part of a larger agenda to boost turnout, Baird said. He added that the tent policy for non-North Carolina games has not been permanently changed and will be reevaluated before the next home game.
“We are not concerned about attendance,” he said. “We just figured that it was something that people had been asking for and we decided to allow them.”
With over 500 students already in line 30 hours before tipoff, Baird guaranteed a full house for Wednesday’s game. He also downplayed the effect the decision to allow tents has had, attributing the high number of students lining up to the excitement generated by the Blue Devil’s tournament victory in the Bahamas.
Whether or not the allowance of tents had a tangible effect on turnout, the decision did result in a scene reminiscent of an entirely different time of year. K-Ville hosted more than 50 tents Tuesday night, a number similar to the amount of tents that occupy the iconic patch of grass every January at the end of Black tenting.
In Cara’s opinion, this is bodes well for Wednesday’s game.
“I think it’s going to be crammed in,” he said, “just like the big games used to be.”