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The excitement of the new arena, a new season for a Bulldogs' program coming off a 20-win season and NCAA tournament appearance and the rare opportunity to see the Tar Heels play in Asheville brought out the students, who stood patiently in line until the doors opened shortly after 5 p.m.
"I got here around 3:15 p.m., and I’m the first one in line," said Ashlei Clodfelter, 20, a junior from Winston-Salem.
"There was a guy who pitched a tent here (Thursday), but he packed it in. Said it was too cold."
In less than two hours before the doors opened, 463 students from an enrollment of 3,600 were in line, passing time by texting, reading, socializing and listening to a two-person impromptu band on a ukelele and makeshift drum.