Former president Barack Obama showed up to Wednesday's Tobacco Road rivalry game between Duke and UNC. 

By Charlotte Carroll
February 20, 2019

Former president Barack Obama appeared at the UNC-Duke game on Wednesday night at Cameron Indoor Stadium. 

Obama had been rumored to appear at the Tobacco Road rivalry game, but officials didn't confirm plans.

Ahead of the showdown, both head coaches said they wouldn't be thinking of Obama during the game if he attended. 

"I never know who is coming," Duke head coach Krzyzewski said Tuesday. "I try not to let that be what I’m thinking of. Look, anybody can show up here because it is a bucket list thing. It’s a bucket list just to come to a game in Cameron. But Duke and Carolina at Cameron is one of those great sporting events. So we can expect anything here."

North Carolina coach Roy Williams said the president possibly showing up won't affect him.

"I love him, but if he is coming to the game, I’m sorry Mr. President, but I am not going to be looking at you," he said. "And I do love him. I thought he was great for our country. But during that game, it’s 'frankly my dear' and you can fill out the rest. There are always a lot of people that come to the game, big names. Peyton Manning used to come to the game."

The president scrimmaged with the Tar Heels in 2008 and welcomed the 2009 national championship team to the White House after it defeated Michigan State. In 2017, Obama picked North Carolina to defeat Duke in the national championship in his March Madness bracket. UNC beat Gonzaga in the championship that year. 

It's the first meeting between the two top-10 teams this season. No. 1 Duke sits atop the ACC standings with a 23–2 record, while No. 8 UNC is 20–5. The average ticket price for Wednesday's game was over $4,000.

Duke will head to Dean E. Smith Center to face North Carolina for its regular-season finale on March 9. 

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