His fears appeared to be confirmed when he and the rest of the UNC wrestling team approached the doors of Cameron Indoor Stadium and a group of Duke students blocked the way.
"Nobody would let us in the door or nothing," Bell said. "They were yelling at us, 'What are y'all doing?' 'We're just trying to get in.' I didn't know what was going on. I just wanted to get out of here. I was like, 'I hope nobody comes, I don't want no shooting.' But it worked out."
The Duke fans were noticeably more sedate inside the stadium as UNC rolled to a 35-3 victory. Three of them sat in the stands doing organic chemistry problems, which easily provided them more excitement than watching their home team as the Tar Heels (6-4 in dual meets, 3-0 in the ACC) dominated the match from the opening whistle.
North Carolina led 12-3 when back-to-back victories from heavyweight Matt Kenny and 125-pounder Chris Collins ripped open the scoring.
Kenny completely abused Duke's Levi Karnehm from the bout's outset, bullying his way to a win by technical fall in the second period.
Within 30 seconds of the start of the match, Kenny led 5-0 after a takedown and a near fall. Another near fall and two takedowns later, he carried an 11-2 advantage heading into the second round.
Fifteen seconds into the second period, Kenny picked Karnehm up off the floor and slammed him on his back, scoring a two-point near fall.
A pair of three-point near falls soon followed, earning Kenny a 19-2 win with 56 seconds left in the period.
"I wanted to work on my technique more than anything," Kenny said. "And a main point was, endurance-wise, just taking it to him. That's why I let him up a couple times -- just to keep the pressure on him, and it paid off."
Kenny's win gave the Tar Heels a
17-3 advantage, and Collins strode onto the mat to square off with the Blue Devils' Tommy Hoang.
Collins worked his way to a 2-1 lead, and with 1:52 left in the second period, he pinned Hoang with a lightning-quick move he said he had been practicing since the Tar Heels' meet against Virginia on Saturday.
"The guy stood up on all fours, and I just cradled and rolled him through," Collins said. "It was kind of ironic how we went over it in practice, and it came today. The guy was supposedly supposed to beat me, so I got excited about that."
UNC's Jason Wilson, filling in for the injured Jake Reynolds in the 165-pound slot, got out of a bind late in his match and took a 6-5 decision against Tim Marcantorio.
JohnMark Bentley, ranked No. 7 in the nation at 149 pounds, capped the evening by pinning Andy Soliman with one second left in the second period.
The lone blemish for the Tar Heels on the day was a loss by sophomore Nick Richmond.
The 184-pounder, who has been mired by a shoulder injury, competed Tuesday but clearly was not at full strength during his 6-3 loss to Duke's Thomas Cass.
With challenging matches approaching against Navy (Feb. 10), Maryland (Feb. 11) and N.C. State (Feb. 15), the Tar Heels will need Richmond pain-free.
UNC coach Bill Lam said he expects each of those meets to be decided by one match. He said Richmond's status would be clear by the time practice begins today after he is examined by doctors.
"I'm real concerned about Nick's shoulder," Lam said. "I hope that we'll have him because we can't beat those three teams without him."
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