Most NC State fans would agree that there’s nothing that satisfies their sports appetite more than a victory over rival UNC. And nothing could anger fans more than a lost chance to actually get that win.
That’s exactly what happened on this day in 1947, when the game between the State and Carolina was canceled, the only time in the rivalry’s history that happened.
The game, set to tip off at Frank Thompson Gymnasium, was supposed to determine the Southern Conference champion that season. Because so much was riding on the game, a crowd that exceeded capacity filled the gym. The fire marshal addressed the crowd, warning it that the game would be canceled unless some of the fans exited. The crowd stayed and the fire marshal canceled the game.
But there were still many fans on the outside clamoring to get in to Thompson Gym’s doors. They grew so impatient, in fact, that they removed on of the doors from its hinges with a ball-peen hammer. “I understood that as the fire marshal tried to leave, they tried to overturn his car,” said Buddy Johnson ’47, a student at the time, to NC State magazine in 2012. “But they didn’t succeed.”
NC State would succeed a week later, finally getting a chance to and beating UNC the next week in the Southern Conference tournament, 50-48.