DURHAM — In the women's tournament, Duke has its eyes on a national championship, but first, they will have to get though the Lady Camels of Campbell University.
Saturday's game could be one of the biggest ever for Campbell.
"We've sold more than 1,000 tickets, says Tom Collins, Campbell Athletic Director. "I think we are going to have a very large following."
About a hour from Durham, Campbell is half as large as Duke, but students at the university love basketball. Friday, the university replayed the school's conference championship game on a television in the cafeteria.
"Certainly to us, this game is more important than it probably is to them," says Campbell student Sam Forehand. "To them, this is just another small team coming around, but to us, this is big time stuff."
The only other time Campbell and Duke met was in 1992, the year Duke's mens team won their second consecutive NCAA title. The Campbell men did not beat Duke then, but there is a lot of hope that the women can do it now.
Duke assistant coach Shonta Tabourn may have some mixed emotions during the game. She was a heralded point guard during her four years at Campbell.
"When they come in here, we are going to be playing against each other, but after the game, we're still going to be great friends, and I'll still have so much respect for the school and the staff and for that program," Tabourn says.
Campbell University will play Duke at Cameron Indoor Stadium 7 p.m. Saturday.