UNC fans prepare for a showdown in Chapel Hill

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (WTVD) -- Saturday night in Chapel Hill marks college basketball's greatest rivalry: UNC vs. Duke. It's more than just a game, it's about tradition, pride, and a fierce battle between two heavyweight coaches.

ABC11 has been in Chapel Hill all day to cover all angles of the game. Sports anchor Mark Armstrong posted up in the Dean Smith Center where coaches and players are finalizing preparations.

Reporter Angelica Alvarez joined the fans on Franklin Street, while morning anchor Anthony Wilson spoke with fans and analysts outside of the Dean Dome.

This rivarly rematch caps a season of high emotion for Carolina on and off the court.

Many of the people who filled the dome Saturday morning for ESPN Game Day brought along pictures of the late Dean Smith, UNC's legendary former basketball coach that passed away in February.

The sportscast carried by ESPN also included a mention of the late Stuart Scott's forthcoming book. Scott, who passed away in January, was an ESPN anchor and UNC alumnus.

Midway through the show, a half-court shot by UNC junior Forrest Reynolds hit nothing but net and won him a cool $18,000! The crowd went wild, including UNC senior Anastasia Bowden.

Asked who she believes will win the Saturday night showdown, she replied, "I think the boys in blue, the right shade of blue, will show up to play tonight. I mean, it's always an electric game here in the Dean Dome!"

Also in the house were ESPN analysts Jay Williams and Jay Bilas, both former Duke players. Some of the signs held aloft by giddy Carolina fans made fun of Bilas for his hair, the shorts he wore as a player, and more.

Those attempts to rib both sportscasters had no effect, according to Jay Williams.

"It's the same as being on the court, in the midst of battle," Williams said. "You don't pay attention to the crowds behind you, you just have fun and do what you do!"

The crowd certainly had fun, screaming loud and proud while waving signs mocking Duke players and their coach whenever the anchors began to speak.

In fact, about the only time they settled down a little was during commercial breaks! But as soon as those were over, the fans got right back down to business.

But who will win tonight? Jay Williams says the Tar Heels have a size advantage.

However, he said "there's something special about this Duke team. When you watch them play against top 25 teams, they find a way to win."

Anastasia, a true Tar Heel, is not buying that.

"I'm not really worried about it because if it weren't for Carolina and Duke's rivalry, they wouldn't really have a job," she said, taking a jab at the Jays.

We will see...when we watch tonight!

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