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Krzyzewskiville, or K-ville for short, is a phenomenon that occurs before major men's basketball games at Duke University. In simplest terms, it is the line for undergraduate students wishing to gain access to the designated tenting games. It is often mistakenly referred to as a ticket line. However, there are no student tickets; students are admitted from the line an hour and a half before each game.
Krzyzewskiville is named for Mike Krzyzewski, often called "Coach K", the much loved coach who has helped make Duke's basketball program one of the best in the nation. He has been known to buy pizza for the K-ville residents from time to time and has held open-forum "team meetings" with the Cameron Crazies before games against their arch-rival, the North Carolina Tar Heels.
Graduate and professional students do not participate in Krzyzewskiville, as Duke's Graduate and Professional Student Council operates a separate weekend-long campout each September followed by a lottery for a small number of graduate and professional student season tickets.
The First K-ville
While lining up hours before games (the UNC game in particular) had always been a regular practice, every now and then a group of students would be ambitious enough to get their sleeping bags out and sleep in line the night before in order to ensure their front row seats. In 1986 Kimberly Reed, a resident of the Mirecourt selective living group, took the practice one step further and decided with a group of her Mirecourt friends to line up even earlier for the UNC game and sleep in tents. Showing up on Thursday for the Saturday tip-off, the fifteen friends set up four tents and prepared to sleep outside of Cameron Indoor. They were quickly noticed by the rest of the student body, and by game time there were 75 tents in line to see Duke battle their long-standing rival UNC. The NBC news crew put them on the evening news, and they made the front page of USA Today. Their dedication was rewarded with an 85-72 Duke victory, and tenting in K-ville quickly became a Duke University tradition.
The number of tenting games in a single season is determined by the Line Monitor Committee of the Duke Student Government. The UNC game is always a tenting game but potentially there may be a second game where tent order determines seating. Months before the actual game, students begin to put up and live in tents outside Cameron Indoor Stadium. As many as twelve people can occupy a specific tent group (a tent group may contain up to two physical tents). As regulated by Duke Student Government, there must be a certain number of students in the tent at regular, periodic checks.
From the beginning of tenting in early January (although the first tents usually appear between Christmas and New Year's Day) for the first two weeks, tents of 12 must have 2 people in the tent during the day and 10 people each night. For the next two weeks, tents must have 1 person in the tent during the day and 6 people each night. For the final two weeks before the game, tents still must have 1 person during the day but only 2 people each night. The two weekend nights prior to the game are personal check nights, during which each of the twelve tent members must be at the tent for 3 of 5 personal checks spread over the two nights. If a tent misses a tent check twice, it gets moved to the end of the line (assuming availability). If K-ville is at full capacity (100 tents) and a waitlist exists at the time of the second miss, the tent gets removed completely. Tenters that lose their spot or non-tenters can, however, take their chances at the walk-up line, which forms 48 hours before tipoff. The walk-up line consists of couples, and one member of each couple must be in line at all times. People in the walk-up line are not guaranteed to get into the game; people who have waited more than 24 hours sometimes do not get in.
Tents must register with the line monitors (students in charge of overseeing and enforcing K-ville rules and regulations) prior to setting up. There are three types: Black registration, which is the longest and most intense option in which the use of actual tents was forbidden in the past. In addition to this, all 12 tenters used to sleep in K-ville during black tenting. Today, however, tents are allowed during Black registration and only 10 people must sleep in the tent. Blue registration is the next period, in which a tent can register at any time before approximately two weeks prior to the game; after this, White registration goes into effect, which is significantly more complicated. For Blue registration, a tent group need only give their names to the line monitors and start tenting. However, for White registration, students must meet the line monitors at a location on campus that is disclosed on a website at a specified time; this results in a hectic dash to the location once it is made public. Most tenting groups station members around campus, one of whom is called when the location is disclosed online. Hundreds of tent representatives usually appear at the White registration location for the 30 remaining spots not taken by Black and Blue tenters, with the spots filling up in a matter of minutes.
K-ville is also a social function at Duke, as many students participate at least once. Duke has installed Wi-Fi service and Ethernet ports in the lightposts so that students can participate in tenting without falling behind in their schoolwork, although the internet is known to be very unreliable. Students also complain that the cold weather also prevents them from getting any real work done.
Heaters are not permitted in K-ville; students must keep warm by simply using sleeping bags and dressing appropriately.
In December 2006, the Duke Student Government banned Robertson Scholars from UNC (who attend Duke for one semester) from participating in tenting for the game versus UNC, although they can still get in via the walk-up line. Some feel this is a violation of the Robertson Scholars Program, which states that "they have full student privileges at both Duke and UNC-Chapel Hill. This includes access to courses; faculty and research opportunities; and arts, cultural, and sporting events." That tenting season, some Robertsons tented with some full-time Duke students, using their Duke ID cards to get into the game. However, once inside the student section the Robertson attendees removed Duke attire worn into the game to reveal UNC paraphernalia. To prevent this situation from happening again, Robertson Scholars visiting from UNC were banned from tenting in K-ville, starting in 2006.
Growing Popularity of K-Ville
In January 2017, over 150 tent groups registered for black and blue tenting, exceeding the 70 tent cap. This was the first time in the history of K-ville that the 70 tent cap reserved for black and blue tenters was exceeded. The line monitors created a preliminary trivia test based on the current men's basketball season as a way to select the lucky 70 tents that would be allowed to tent. The tenting starting date was pushed back from Wednesday, January 11 to Thursday January 12 to accommodate the testing period. If a tent group did not make the top 70 they would be placed on a wait list in the order of their scores. If a tent among the first 70 dropped or got bumped, the next group on the waitlist would move up and become a blue tent.
Player Presence in K-Ville
Over the past few years, current players on the Duke Men's Basketball team have begun to show a greater involvement with and appreciation of the tenters in K-Ville. For the 2013-14 season, Jabari Parker made homemade dessert bars, dubbed "Jabari Bars," and passed them out to tenters, and Andre Dawkins gave out fruit snacks to tenters on a different occasion. During the 2014-15 season, Marshall Plumlee gave tours of the most notable tents in K-Ville and interviewed tents' members in a mini video series called "K-Ville Kribs." In his last year on the Duke Men's Basketball team (2016–17) Amile Jefferson oversaw a half-court tournament played by current tenters, where the winning tent group got to be the first group for the final game of the season (Duke vs. Florida State University).
Notes and references
- "Duke GPSC Men's Basketball Site". Duke University Graduate and Professional Student Council.
- Sarowitz, Jodi. "The First Krzyzewskiville". The Chronicle (Duke University).
- Website http://www.kvillenation.com Website Check
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- Krzyzewskiville closed to joint scholars from North Carolina. "USA Today." Accessed on 12 Dec 2006.
- Robertson Scholars - Opportunities. "robertsonscholars.org." Accessed on 15 Dec 2006.