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Smith Center Opens Doors To Tar Heel Fans For Game Viewing

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CHAPEL HILL — UNC basketball fans are invited to cheer together Sautrday by watching the NCAA semifinals -- broadcast from the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis -- on the Tar Heels' home court, the Dean Smith Center.

The university will provide a 15-by-20-foot screen and open 15,000 seats in the Smith Center for free viewing of Final Four festivities.

Carolina students, faculty and staff with university IDs will be admitted first, at 5 p.m. Saturday. Doors will open to the general public at 5:30 p.m.

Saturday's first semifinal, matching Illinois and Louisville, begins at 6:07 p.m. Carolina will play Michigan State in the second game, set to tip 40 minutes after the conclusion of the first game.

Fans should enter through Entrance A. Reentry will not be allowed.

Alcohol is not sold at the Smith Center, and fans may not bring alcoholic beverages with them to the arena. Other prohibited items include: backpacks or other large bags of any kind, bottles or thermoses, coolers, food, drugs, fireworks, weapons of any kind, noise makers, signs, flags, banners, laser pointers and video equipment.

Should UNC advance to the national championship game at 9:18 p.m. Monday, big-screen viewing at the Smith Center will again be offered. Students, faculty and staff with university IDs will be admitted at 8 p.m. and the general public at 8:30 p.m.

"This event will allow everyone to celebrate together in the tradition of spirit and pride that makes the Carolina community so special," said Dr. Peggy Jablonski, vice chancellor for student affairs, in a press release issued by UNC.

Concessions will be sold. Free parking will be available at the Smith Center off Bowles Drive and in the nearby Kenan-Flagler Business School deck.

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