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They're Not Called Cameron Crazies For Nothing

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DURHAM, N.C. — Duke basketball fans call themselves the Cameron Crazies. Thursday night and Friday morning showed reasons why.

Duke students are considered some of the smartest students around. But one look at the tent city erected outside of Cameron Indoor Stadium, and you may have questioned their intelligence - and their sanity.

Snow and freezing temperatures didn't keep the "Crazies" from camping out for tickets to the impending Duke-North Carolina game at Cameron.

The eyes and shivers of the die-hard Blue Devils showed how cold it was. But the residents of "Krzyzewskiville" didn't seem to mind.

The first tent popped up two weeks ago. But by Thursday, Krzyzewskiville was a bonafide mini city, complete with Internet access.

The many tent dwellers have been giving up a life of luxury for a shot at seeing their No. 1-ranked team take on the arch-rival Tar Heels. The game is not for another two weeks, but there were about 50 tents set up and being lived in Friday.

By game night, more than 100 tents will be set up and occupied.

"I'm freezing right now," said Ed Austin. "But, supposedly, it's all worth it."

They may be roughing it in Krzyzewskiville, but they're doing it in high-tech style. In the last couple of years, the school has added two dozen Internet connections to light poles on the grounds so students can plug in their laptops and spend time online.

"It actually offers us a great opportunity to study," Austin said. "We're out here so long, not doing anything."

With the mercury dropping, one thing Austin and the others in Krzyzewskiville try to do is stay warm.

"You've just got to put on a lot of clothes, get layered up," Austin said. "Just pretend you're going skiing."

Rules of Krzyzewskiville stipulate that one person must be in a tent at all times. But there's been a weather clause added that allows students to spend the night in their dorms when the temperature gets below freezing.

With a long stretch of cold weather still ahead between now and the big game, the tent living could get rough. But the Cameron Crazies will gut it out until game time.

"It's incredible," Austin said. "This is something I've really been looking forward to."