UNC Students Rushed The Streets Of Chapel Hill After Beating Duke Despite COVID-19 Restrictions

City of Chapel Hill

City of Chapel Hill

Hundreds of North Carolina fans flooded Franklin Street in Chapel Hill after UNC’s rivalry win over Duke on Saturday night. The participants were overwhelmingly students.

Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz said prior to the game that any form of mass gathering would have consequences amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. He addressed the celebration on Twitter.

Neither team was ranked in the game for the first time in 61 years and the Blue Devils will face a significant uphill battle to make the NCAA Tournament with the loss. The Tar Heels have their at-large bid hopes alive, but they’re hanging on by a thread. As an Ole Miss fan, I can tell you from experience that rivalry matchups are often the most meaningful when the respective teams are in a down year. Students are on-campus and unable to participate in a traditional college experience, which makes events like this an even more likely to occur.

Some of the scenes that came out of Franklin were pretty wild— down to jumping flaming mattresses.

The police eventually rolled up and shut things down. There have not been any reports of any arrests or injuries.

As of Friday, February 5, the UNC coronavirus dashboard reports 610 total COVID-19 cases associated with the university thus far in 2021. The school had 10 reported cases on Feb. 4 and nine were students.

On the court, the Tar Heels will continue their season on the court with an eight-game string of ACC matchups that concludes with a rematch against the Blue Devils on March 6. If both schools fates aren’t decided before then, that game could determine which team gets to dance. While it might be too late for Coach Mike Krzyzewski’s team to reach March Madness, Roy Williams’ squad could finish strong and make it on the “in” side of the bubble.