It was a game so anticipated, and a rivalry so fierce, that ESPN had a countdown till game time running on its networks Wednesday, reports the Charlotte Observer. Barack Obama, Spike Lee, and Ken Griffey Jr. were among the celebs in attendance. Tickets were selling for thousands. But just 36 seconds into the No. 1 Duke vs. No. 8 UNC basketball game, something most bizarre: Duke's freshman sensation Zion Williamson's Nike shoe "blew up," as plenty of media outlets put it. The blue rubber sole peeled off the white left shoe from the heel straight through the toes along one edge, and Williamson's foot came out the resulting hole. The mishap forced an odd landing, and he "planted hard," reports the AP, injuring his knee in the process. He walked off the court with what is being described as a knee sprain. Duke couldn't manage to shake the blow, and North Carolina took a fairly easy 88-72 victory. More:
- The Observer reports Williamson's Nikes—the Nike PG 2.5 PE—are a type made for the NBA's Paul George. It's a new shoe for Williamson, who played in Adidas in high school. The AP adds Duke has had an exclusive apparel and shoe deal with Nike since 1992 that is set to run for another eight years.