As snow continued to fall in Maryland today, North Carolina's basketball team went through a walk-through in anticipation of Sunday's game against the Terrapins -- in a hotel meeting room.
"I'm looking out at the bus right now, and at least 17 inches of snow is surrounding it,'' team spokesman Steve Kirschner said in a phone interview from the Sheraton at around noon. "...It really is a blizzard here ... you look outside, and it looks like on of those game shows where they put money in the vacuum box, and a person goes in and tries to grab the money -- but instead, it's snow."
Although the team bus this morning could not get out of the hotel parking lot -- which is about six miles from the stadium, Kirschner estimated -- the team was hopeful it might be able to make it to Comcast Center later today to practice.
Karl Hicks, the ACC's associate commissioner of men's basketball operations, said at about 1:30 p.m. he is confident the game will tip off as scheduled.
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"I think it will be played ...the snow is supposed to stop tonight,'' he said. " But if it goes unabated for the rest of the afternoon, all night long and into the day tomorrow, which they're not calling for, then a situation could arise where you might have some personnel or officials that couldn't get there. But as of right now, we're set to go."
Hicks said that as long as the teams, officials, and the people who administer the games - meaning the table crews and game operations folks - are in place, ACC policy is to play the game. Both teams are in town. As for officials, Hicks said one lives in nearby Silver Spring, Md., and the two others are working at today's games at Virginia and Virginia Tech.
"They've got the rest of the afternoon to get there, and we've got back-up officials in the area if we need to call them,'' he said.
The Tar Heels left campus at about 1:30 p.m. on Friday afternoon, flew to Maryland, and worked out Friday evening in the Terrapins' practice gym because a women's game was being played at the Comcast Center.
As much as another foot of snow is scheduled to fall in Maryland by the end of the day.