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Duke Basketball Fans Ready For Exciting Week

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DURHAM, N.C. — Monday marked the beginning of an exciting week for fans of Duke basketball.

The Duke men's team ascended to the No. 1 ranking in the national polls -- marking the second straight season in which both Duke's men's and women's team have been ranked No. 1 at the same time.

The women will play No. 2-ranked Tennessee in Cameron Indoor Stadium on Saturday, when Alana Beard also becomes the first Duke women's player to have her jersey retired.

News of Duke's double No. 1 ranking shot through campus like a fastbreak.

"It gives us vicarious pride," said student Jen Kang. "Not that we're directly connected with it, but there's a lot of pride in going to same school as them."

Said student Dan Kimberg: "This is what I came here for."

Kimberg and his friends were set up Monday in tent No. 22 in Krzyzewskiville -- the tent city named in honor of Duke men's coach Mike Krzyzewski, where students camp out to wait for game tickets. Kimberg's goal was to score tickets to the Duke-Maryland and Duke-UNC games.

But his friends and he also are big fans of the women's team.

"We were actually at the Duke-UNC women's game last week, and it was incredible," he said. "There was so much spirit. Cameron was loud. It was great."

Said Kang: "To hear they are No. 1 this year and are expected to win the NCAA (tournament) is just amazing."

Students said the polls only add more fuel to their enthusiasm for bearing the elements in the name of Duke basketball.

"It's awfully impressive what both Coach K (Krzyzewski) and Coach G (women's coach Gail Goestenkors) have done with both programs," student Matthew Eagleburger said. "I am as happy as I can be to be out here. I get to see a whole bunch of basketball games."

Beard's No. 20 will be retired before Saturday's women's game. The 5-foot-11 senior is the career leading scorer at Duke and ranks third in Atlantic Coast Conference history.

"To be considered one of the best to have played at Duke with all the great athletes who have come through this program over the years is truly amazing for my family and me," Beard said.

Said Goestenkors: "She has taken us to new heights and is one of the best women's basketball players to ever play the game."

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