The seating capacity at Winston-Salem's Joel Coliseum is 14,407 for a basketball game. That means that when two of Wake Forest's fiercest rivals came to town this month, there were a surprising number of empty seats.
North Carolina, the rival that traditionally most stirs Wake supporters, visited on January 5. Attendance for that meeting, the ACC opener for both clubs, was almost exactly 2,000 short of capacity. Among those who did fill the seats, at least one quarter wore Carolina blue and cheered and chanted for the Tar Heels.
Then the other day N.C. State came to the Joel and there were approximately 3,500 empty seats.
The missing fans at the two games - nearly 20 percent of capacity -- were not there to pay for tickets, parking, or concessions. Their absence represented a large loss of income, and surely reflects lingering dissatisfaction with the Jeff Bzdelik regime.
For all that, the Demon Deacons are formidable at home, winners of 12 straight there after beating both the Tar Heels and Wolfpack. Wake has 14 regular-season games remaining, and already is within one victory of matching the most wins of the Bzdelik era. In fact, at 12-5 the Deacs are in danger of posting a winning record for the first time in four seasons under their less-than-charismatic leader.
The 12-win home run (so to speak) is tied for the third-best ongoing streak in the Big ACC, trailing only Duke and Pittsburgh and tied with Syracuse.
WHEN HOME-LY IS BEAUTIFUL
|Boston College||0||Syracuse, 1/13/14|
|Clemson||1||Florida State, 1/9/14|
|Duke||26||North Carolina, 3/3/12|
|Florida State||1||Virginia, 1/4/14|
|Georgia Tech||0||Pittsburgh, 1/14/14|
|Maryland||4||Boston University, 12/21/13|
|Miami||0||Florida State, 1/15/14|
|North Carolina||0||Miami, 1/8/14|
|N.C. State||0||Virginia, 1/11/14|
|Notre Dame||0||N.C. State, 1/7/14|
|Pittsburgh||13||Notre Dame, 2/18/13|
|Virginia Tech||0||Clemson, 1/15/14|
|Wake Forest||12||Maryland, 3/2/13|