There is a thin stretch of lawn on the campus of Duke University known as Krzyzewskiville. It’s named for Coach Mike Krzyzewski, currently the winningest coach in men’s college basketball history. Cameron Indoor Stadium, hallowed ground for any Blue Devil basketball fan, is located right next door. Starting in mid-January students begin camping in tents on this stretch of lawn in the hopes of gaining entry into the small stadium for the biggest games of the season. No game is bigger than UNC vs. Duke.
The level of dedication and organizational complexity that goes into populating Krzyzewskiville is impressive by any standard. Leading up to the Big Game the number of tents begin to swell and students take up quarters in the nearby woods and coat the sidewalks. Keep in mind, this is a prestigious university with the most appropriate, comfortable accommodations provided at a premium for the under-graduate population. These are also the coldest months of the year and, as was the case, often the wettest. This is one reason they are known as the Cameron Crazies.
On Saturday the Blue Devils lost 88-70 to the Tar Heels. The intense rivalry goes on. Except for the flapping of blue tarps in the wind, the once bustling encampment was silent on Sunday morning. It would be a few hours before students and housekeeping staff began cleaning and packing up the site. I couldn’t help but visually associated the scene with the recent Occupy movement, though the aims of the two could not be more different. The following images are a survey of the deserted encampment and the signs of life leading up to the storied contest on the court.
View these photos in the DLA Archives gallery.