INDIANAPOLIS — Tenting in Krzyzewskiville ended nearly a month ago, but don't tell that to the 660 Duke students who won the Final Four ticket lottery.
For Saturday's Final Four game, the group of 660 was split into two: 330 of them were given seats on the floor behind one of the baskets (not quite as good as they sound, but preferable to the alternative), while the other 330 were relegated to the stratosphere that is the upper deck at Lucas Oil Stadium. Each of the four schools that sent teams to Indianapolis had to abide by those rules.
Today, though, any remaining West Virginia and Michigan State students had no choice but to sit up top, and the sections that used to belong to them were given to Duke and Butler students. So, the good news is, all 660 Duke students will be sitting together below the basket tonight.
That guarantee didn't stop a few hardy youngsters from taking the lining-up process to the extreme and sleeping outside of Lucas Oil Stadium last night for the right to be one of the first few students in the stadium. The difference between the front row and the fourth row isn't that huge, but because of the way the seats are set up--all student seats are slightly below the court and not raised or slanted in any way, like the bleachers in Cameron Indoor Stadium--fans do get a much clearer view of the court from the front and off to one side as opposed to in the back-middle.
What resulted was a mini-Krzyzewskiville that sprouted up around 9 p.m. yesterday. Perhaps 50 students, maybe less, slept out last night, and the rest came in waves throughout Monday morning. And by Monday afternoon, the scene was a familiar one--beers being shotgunned, footballs and frisbees being tossed around, and my personal favorite, an Indianapolis Colts-themed game of cornhole.
Was the 24-hour wait worth it? We'll know in just a little while.