Cameron Indoor Stadium is considered one of the toughest places to play in the country. Mike Krzyzewski has led the seventh-ranked Duke Blue Devils to 109 consecutive non-conference regular season wins at home, the longest streak in the country. Some perspective: the 14 other ACC teams have a combined 109 consecutive non-conference regular season wins at their home courts.
Coach K’s new conference opponent, second-ranked Syracuse, has an intimidating home court of their own: the Carrier Dome, with a capacity of over 34,000. (Cameron Indoor’s capacity is just over 9,000.)
This week on Basketball and Beyond, 11th-ranked Villanova head coach Jay Wright talked about his team’s recent road game against Syracuse, and how tough that environment is.
“The Dome is a really unique place,” Wright told Coach K. “One of the things we always try to do is get in there a day before to practice. Guys who have played there before usually play better the second time.”
What is it about the Carrier Dome that makes it so daunting to visiting teams?
It’s the kind of place, that when you walk in there it just makes you stop and look around, you don’t play anywhere like that. Even when you play in the NCAA tournament, if you play in those big arenas, the court is in the middle of the arena so it’s a little bit more of what you’re used to. When you go in [to the Carrier Dome], the court is down at one end. The other thing, when you go out for warm-ups there, it’s almost like you’re in a zoo. People are milling about. Usually when we play there there’s about 30,000 people so there’s about 15,000 people [pregame] but not in their seats. They’re all walking around the court, looking at the players, there’s a kind of party atmosphere but you’re kind of, in a cage where they’re viewing. You just have to experience that one time. I don’t think the depth perception is that big of a deal…I think it’s all the other stuff.
Coach K takes to the airwaves Thursdays at 6 pm ET throughout the college basketball season on SiriusXM College Sports Nation. Basketball and Beyond with Coach K, co-hosted by Dave Sims, is in its ninth season, and is available live on Ch. 91, on the SiriusXM app and on SiriusXM On Demand.
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