Originally posted on Bloguin Best  |  Last updated 1/5/12

On this day in 1965, Dean Smith was hung in effigy outside of Woollen Gym. The Tar Heels were returning from Winston-Salem where they had just suffered their 4th consecutive loss. When the bus arrived about 100 students were waiting around a stuffed dummy suspended by a noose. Smith would later write that he knew it was him "because of its long nose." Two of his players, including star Billy Cunningham bolted from the bus and ripped it down. "I remember the team was just very hurt by this because we realized it wasn't Coach Smith's fault," Cunningham said. "It was our fault. It was the players' fault."

"When I was here, Dean Smith was the biggest joke around, " said Art Heyman, a player with nearby Duke. "Everybody wanted him fired." The story is often retold as a warning against snap judgements regarding coaches. But the hatred for Dean Smith had as much to do with his politics as his performance. Smith was an outspoken supporter of integration.

Two years later Smith would lead the Tar Heels to the first of 11 Final Fours they appeared in with him as coach.

Cameron Indoor Stadium opened 72 years ago today. When it opened the stadium was the 2nd largest gymnasium in the nation, behind The Palestra at Penn. Originally called Duke Indoor Stadium, it would be renamed in 1972. The building had seats for 8,800 fans, with standing room for another 700. Renovations in 1998 added the electronic scoreboard over the court, added railings in the student section, and got rid of the standing room area. Now the official capacity is 9,314, and every game has sold out since 1990. In 71 seasons played at Cameron, Duke has gone undefeated 19 times. ESPN named it the 2nd best sporting venue in the nation, behind Chicago's Wrigley Field.

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