Greetings. First time poster. I consider myself very fortunate to be an alumnus of both schools. I live in North Carolina and thought I could help anybody coming to the area for the first time.
Getting here. Driving from the north, I’m not sure whether 95/85 is better than U.S. 29 once you get to DC. There’s not a lot between Petersburg and NC on I-85, and there’s not a lot outside the major cities on U.S. 29. If you fly and drive, Greensboro is a small airport. Raleigh is about 1.25 hours away and has Southwest and JetBlue from Philly and New York. Charlotte is a US Air hub and is one of the most expensive airports in the country.
The Coliseum. This is a good venue for basketball. You can see the floor pretty well from the top row of an arena. If you got tickets from Lehigh, they will be excellent. If you can’t get tickets through Lehigh or Ticketmaster, you probably can scalp close to face value near tip-off on Friday. Many UNC fans won’t stay for the second game on Friday. I’ve seen people unable to buy tickets at any price for Sunday games.
Parking. There are two lots by the Coliseum. The main coliseum lot is more secure and good for tailgating. There is a caged lot across the street. It was about $10 to park the last time I was there. Be prepared to park in some business or church and walk a couple blocks given the limited time between sessions.
The Coliseum area. There is really not a lot within walking distance of the Coliseum. It’s an OK but not a great part of town. There are a bunch of hotels a short drive away along with a big shopping mall. There are a lot of other hotels a few exits to the west along I-40 in the suburban part of Greensboro. East of the Coliseum is an industrial area without many hotels for about 10-12 miles. Mid-level hotels are normally $80-100 night when there isn’t basketball in town.
What to do on Saturday. Greensboro has a downtown area but there’s a reason Jim Boeheim is complaining about playing the ACC tournament here. It’s not an exciting city. Plan to watch basketball. It’s going to be 70+ degrees this week the last time I checked. If you are so inclined the beaches are about 4-4.5 hours east and the mountains are about 3-3.5 hours west.
The game itself. It’s a coin flip regardless of what the talking heads and computers might say. Ignore the fact that Duke is 12-0 in NCAA games in this building. From what little I’ve been able to catch, Lehigh plays better as a team for 40 minutes. Duke has had 1 dominant run for 7-10 minutes in most games at some point and has been very unpredictable the rest of the game. Michigan State and St. John’s were both down 20 in the second half but came back in the last 10 minutes to make the loss more respectable. Duke’s been in a scoring slump the past couple weeks but the defense is playing better. I think 3 point shooting on both sides will probably determine the outcome of this game.