In the final 10 seconds of UNC men's basketball’s 90-83 win over Duke, people began rushing out of Top of the Hill Bar and Distillery to get to Franklin Street. Town residents and students alike wanted to be the first on the street to celebrate the win.
While restaurants and bars on Franklin were a popular spot to watch the game, some students found it was easier to rush from campus. First-year Jessica Thompson watched the game with friends at the Student Union.
“Just getting to be here for the very first time and see Carolina beat Duke, it was just mind blowing,” she said. “The best part is getting to be here with my friends and classmates and feel that energy. We were all just so happy in this moment.”
As the streets filled, people started Tar Heel chants, sent drones into the air and burned couches. First-year Nicholas Vorobiov said he was overwhelmed, but excited by the action.
“It’s good to get the win, good to be out here, it’s good to just be on top of Duke,” he said. “We’re all just having a good time, there’s a little bit of fire, but everyone’s being safe about it.”
All of the activities caused street closures on Franklin and Columbia streets, according to a statement issued by Chapel Hill police Capt. Joshua Mecimore, spokesperson for the Chapel Hill Police Department. Regular traffic resumed at 12:20 a.m., shortly after officials cleared streets at 11:45 p.m.
No one was arrested while people rushed, the statement said, but Orange County Emergency Services treated four people.
This was the first time people rushed Franklin Street in 2017. The Tar Heels lost to Duke, 86-78, on Feb. 9 at Cameron Indoor Stadium, and UNC hadn’t beaten Duke at home since 2014. First-year Coleman Breen said it was exciting to experience a Franklin rush in his first year.
“It’s my first home win here at UNC against Duke,” he said. “I’m just really happy and excited. It’s extremely overwhelming, but it’s good.”