Game #113 of 363 31% complete
This game was extra special for me because I was able to take a self tour of the campus. My daughter graduated from Wake in 2011. Some of the buildings brought back some good memories. Of course, I had to buy a Wake shirt. I visited the Collins dorm which was her home for freshman year. The campus with old buildings is reminiscent of the IVY leagues schools here in the northeast.
One of the major differences between a major p5 game and a mid-major school is the pre game festivities. Wake puts on an impressive show. I was shocked to see the Deacon mascot ride a motorcycle onto the court for the player introductions.
With North Carolina down the road in Raleigh and being a major ACC rival, there were quite a few fans from NC State. This was the 168th meeting between the two rivals. I was sitting next to three young enthusiastic fans who took an interest in my Operation 351 mission. As the game progressed, I slowly turned into a Wolfpack fan and cheered along with them.
Former Deacon Mugsy Bogues made an appearance to participate in a half time presentation. He was waving and smiling towards the cheering Wake fans.
So I need to talk about Wolfpack player D.J. Burns. To date, I have never heard of this gentleman. In all my Operation 351 travels, I have never seen a player so dominate the game as Burns did today. At 6’9″ and weighing 275, he was fed the ball every play and bulled his way to the basket scoring with whirling moves and quick footwork. Burns ended up 31 points and nine rebounds and was basically unstoppable down the stretch.
Burns is receiving the ball in the above picture.
The hallways of the arena were filled with Wake memorabilia. Two notable displays were a tribute to coach Skip Prosser who died of a heart attack in 2007 in his office after jogging on the Wake campus. Also honored was Tim Duncan who is perhaps the best-known Wake graduate.
Damari Monsanto led Wake with 24 points with many long range three pointers. Tyree Appleby from Wake also put on an impressive show with 19 points. The transfer from Florida has been compared to Alan Iverson in looks and style of play.
Wake Forest led for most of the game and had a 10-point lead in the first half. The Wolfpack whittled the lead down and took the lead with minutes left in the game. Although the ACC is having a down year, it was fun to watch a heated ACC conference game.
The final score above did not include a final three by Wake that was added late.