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Final hours

The excitement level was high outside U-Hall last night, as television and radio station crews interviewed students camped out for tickets to the Duke-Virginia game, which tips off at 7 p.m. tonight.

Music blared from portable stereos, and students worked and chatted as a large sign welcomed all to "Hooville."

While most students retired to Onesty Hall at midnight, fourth-year Engineering student Ben Yoder braved the cold and slept outside, and woke up yesterday morning covered by an inch of rain. His tent, propped a foot above the ground by large orange cones, is a humorous testament to his stubborn perseverance.

"The joke is, midway through the second half, we're going to come out and set up tents for the Carolina game," he said.

Maggie Rhodes, a first-year College student, "tried to sleep outside but it was too cold," she said, so her group moved indoors to Onesty, only to be awoken around 6 a.m. by a group of 20 crew team members working out on the rowing machines. But don't get too sympathetic: Rhodes is a Duke fan.

Second-year College students Susan Forester and Blair Cholewa represented two groups of 12, and explained that camping out had been an extremely positive experience.

Related Links
  • Cavalier Daily coverage of Virginia men's basketball
  • The official website of Duke athletics
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    Both girls spoke of how "appreciative" coach Pete Gillen has been. He has brought food and t-shirts to the campers, and as if on cue, the Virginia coach arrived on the scene only minutes later.

    "I'm speechless," Gillen said. The support of the fans "makes the players feel good. It's a wonderful tribute."

    Shooting guard Keith Friel and several teammates also made appearances outside to greet the hardy fans.

    "I think it's tremendous," Friel said of the campers. The basketball enthusiasts "are sacrificing to make the environment as hostile as possible for Duke," he said. In return, he promised the Cavaliers will "play as hard as possible. We'll give it our best shot."

    Compiled by Julia Salasky

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