Blue Devil basketball on television probably garners high ratings whenever particular people congregate for Duke Club-sponsored hoopswatch parties. But the biggest draw of all is the Duke-Carolina game. On February 7--from Miami to Toronto, Charleston to Honolulu, Oklahoma to Oregon--there were twenty official viewing venues in various pubs, breweries, sports bars, and steakhouses.
Perhaps the largest gathering was on campus, at the first Cameron Hoopswatch, sponsored by the Duke Alumni Association and The Inferno, the official student club of Duke Athletics and the Iron Dukes, and the Campus Council, the programming division of student government. More than 700 students and about 100 alumni and friends were able to watch the game on two 147-square-foot projection screens.
The inaugural event, called "Hoop Rush," included a chicken-nugget eating contest during halftime. Contestants had five minutes to eat a bucket of thirty-five McDonald's Chicken McNuggets. Greg Tipton, a freshman, finished with a minute to spare, according to The Chronicle. There was also a Rock Lobster dance contest, and two door prizes, autographed basketballs, were awarded.
First-year student Aubrey Bonhivert, who told The Chronicle that she usually watches basketball in the commons room of Alspaugh dorm, said, "Having all the fans there for the camaraderie--not to mention for support when we fell behind--made the game come alive."
March 31, 2006