There are sunny days ahead this weekend, but come Saturday night, most North Carolinians will be inside. As the NCAA tournament draws to a close, people in the Triangle are only thinking about one thing—the semifinal game between longtime rivals Duke and UNC.

This year marks the first time ever the two college basketball teams will meet in the tournament, a statistical anomaly that has mostly prevented the Triangle from becoming a dumpster fire each March. So if you’re a basketball fan, be prepared for chaos. And if you’re not, well … be prepared for chaos. 

Clash of the Titans

The Duke v. UNC game airs at 8:49 p.m. Saturday on TBS. Sports bars across the Triangle will be tuning in, so if you plan on heading to Franklin Street, downtown Durham, or downtown Raleigh, be prepared for a loud, crowded, and crazy evening. Locals will remember the legendary car fire back in 2001 after a fan celebration on Franklin Street got out of control. This year, vandalism like that is even more likely, so stay safe and stay sober.

If you’re not planning on watching the game, avoid downtown. Even if you are planning on watching the game, I recommend throwing a watch party from the comfort of your own home, where you don’t have to search for parking and you can throw down as many beers as you like. You can stream the action on the TBS app, NCAA March Madness Live app,, and And if you’re an NC State fan, sit back and enjoy the show. Maybe try and send some bad ju-ju UNC’s way beforehand. 

First Friday Fundraiser: Support Ukraine

If you’re looking for a non-sporting event, head to Gallery C in downtown Raleigh for an evening of Ukrainian food, music, and art—all in support of the Ukrainian people. The guest of honor is Olen Kozlova-Pates, founder of the volunteer network Ukrainians in the Carolinas, which has been working to assist Ukrainians and promote their culture in the Carolinas for the past eight years.

Proceeds from the fundraising event will go toward the nonprofit Revived Soldiers Ukraine, which has been providing medical and humanitarian support to the people of Ukraine since 2014.

Self-Guided Paddle Tours

With the big game this weekend, there’s a lot of appeal for some in getting as far away from civilization as possible. If you want to be unreachable, consider taking a self-guided canoe, kayak, or paddleboarding tour of Falls Lake. A short trip runs two-and-a-half hours, while a long trip will take up half your day, at four hours. The spring weather also means its not yet too hot on the water. Tours are $30-40.

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