Inside student sections: Duke's Cameron Crazies and Krzyzewskiville

ByESPN.com via ESPN logo
Thursday, January 31, 2019
ESPN

Few student sections are as notorious as Duke'sCameron Crazies.

You've seen them before: out in full force, painted blue or white (or blue and white) from head to toe. They wave signs jeering their opponents, or hold up cardboard cutouts of everyone from coach Mike Krzyzewski to actor Rainn Wilson.

You've heard them before: Cheering and jeering at the top of their lungs. They're clever, too. In the 1980s, after Tar Heel rival Steve Hale punctured his lung a game prior, he arrived at Duke to chants of "In-Hale, Ex-Hale." The Blue Devils fans also claim the ubiquitous "air ball" chant originated at Cameron Indoor Stadium in the 1970s.

And you've heard of their dedication: Of students camping out on freezing January and February nights outside of Cameron Indoor Stadium, in a section of campus known as "Krzyzewskiville," hoping to be some of the first to get the best seats in the house.

This is the Duke student section.

  • Duke's student section holds approximately 1,200 individuals.
  • The student section is opposite the Duke and opponent benches, in "Sections 17" of Cameron Indoor Stadium.
  • Duke's student section is for undergraduates only, and is general admission for select games.
  • Graduate students get access to Sections 18, 19 and 20 -- behind the nets or the benches, and sharing with either Duke's player/guests or the band.

"Cameron Crazies" is the name of Duke's student section. Duke's student section had always been alive and well, and notoriously clever and tough for opposing fan bases -- Kentucky's legendary coach Adolph Rupp called out Duke's students as early as the 1950s. But it wasn't until the 1980s -- around the time tenting began -- that the name came to be.

Krzyzewskiville, or K-ville for short, is, for all intents and purposes, the line for students hoping to get the best seats in the house for major home games. But that line -- for a spot in the game, and not tickets themselves -- forms well in advance (sometimes months out for the fabled Duke-North Carolinarivalry game), and may better be described as a "tent city." Students camp out to be the first in Cameron Indoor -- and those doors won't open until about an hour and a half before tipoff.

The phenomenon, which began in 1986, is monitored by Duke's student government association. Those pitching tents register with the school and follow a set of rules and guidelines.

Coach Krzyzewski is known for his support of those stalwart students, ordering pizza to those braving the cold and sometimes holding "team meetings." Players past and present have supported the Crazies with snacks. And all college basketball fans can point to Duke's tent city as one of the golden standards of fan support.

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