Duke basketball put at disadvantage with pending trip to North Carolina

Duke basketball (Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports)
Duke basketball (Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) /

Duke basketball has been put at a disadvantage in playing against North Carolina. 

The first version of the Duke basketball program hosting the North Carolina Tar Heels this season was unlike any other the college basketball world has ever seen.

Two rivals, no fans, just basketball.

In the many games at Cameron Indoor Stadium this season that have felt strange with no atmosphere, the Blue Devils and Tar Heels matchup was by far the creepiest of the year.

However, the Blue Devils might get the disadvantage of playing the Tar Heels at Cameron Indoor Stadium but then having to play in front of a limited capacity crowd at the Dean Dome in March.

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper announced on Wednesday that a limited amount of fans can return to arenas on Friday, February 26.

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Cooper announced that 15-percent of spectators can return to indoor sporting events, and it’s very unlikely that fans will file into Cameron Indoor Stadium on Saturday night when the Blue Devils host Louisville.

University of North Carolina Athletic Director Bubba Cunningham released a statement that the athletic program is working with the university to finalize plans on attendance policies, but the hope is to have family members of student-athletes and coaches, as well as students, in the Dean Dome.

Duke basketball to see fans at a large portion of remaining games

Saturday’s matchup with the Cardinals could be the last time the Blue Devils do not play in front of a limited amount of fans this season.

After playing Louisville, Duke will close out the season on the road against Georgia Tech, which is allowing a limited number of fans, and North Carolina.

The ACC Tournament is taking place in Greensboro, North Carolina this season, which would fall under the category of 15-percent capacity, under Cooper’s guidelines.

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If Duke was to qualify for the NCAA Tournament, up to 25-percent capacity of fans is being allowed as the tournament is exclusively being played in the Indianapolis region.

Adversity is nothing new for the Duke Blue Devils this season, and getting the disadvantage of playing North Carolina on the road with fans in the stands will be something else for this team to overcome.

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