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Maryland students pick basketball game against North Carolina over class

The pull of a top-10 clash was enough for some University of Maryland student to make the five hour drive to Chapel Hill on Tuesday to see the Maryland Terrapins take on former ACC foe North Carolina in the ACC-B1G Challenge

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Before other students will even be thinking about waking up, junior Leyla Balimtas will be on the road to Chapel Hill, ready to see No. 2 Maryland Terrapins (6-0) take on No. 9 North Carolina Tar Heels (5-1).

Balimtas is making the five hour drive on Tuesday at 6 a.m. to minimize her time away from College Park. "I'm missing two classes on Tuesday," she said. But she is hoping the game makes up for the missed class time. "I've been a Maryland basketball fan since I was little... so this was a game I knew I wanted to see in person."

Senior Brandon Smith made it down to North Carolina on Sunday. He said he couldn't pass up the opportunity to see a game between such highly ranked rivals. "It's not too often that Maryland is this good at basketball," he said. "So seeing a game like this is pretty rare."

Smith and his friends are missing classes, but he said missing them for the game was definitely worth it. "We're all missing a couple classes, which kind of sucks," he said. "But we knew we were doing this for awhile, so we were able to email our teachers in advance to ensure we wouldn't miss anything substantial."

Junior Rob Kornfield is missing two classes to go to the game, but said college is about more than academics. "It's not the ideal situation, but I'll get the notes from friends and try to make it up later," he said. "I have a lot of work to do... but I'm only in college for four years."

The Terps take on the Tar Heels from the Dean Dome Tuesday night at 9:30 p.m.