Bill Leslie's Carolina Conversations

ACC Dinosaur

Posted March 8, 2007

I know what I'm about to say is basketball blasphemy but I'm going to say it anyway. Many of us are sentimental about the ACC Tournament. I was there in Greensboro for the greatest game of all time between NCSU and Maryland in 1974 when Tommy Burleson willed the Wolfpack to victory.

I was there in '82 and '83 and '92 and '93 and on and on and on. It was great when it meant something - when you had to win it to advance to the NCAA Tournament. Some would argue that it is the greatest sporting event in America. I would argue that it used to be. Today the ACC Tournament is a curse for many of the better teams that play in it. With the expanded league the regular season is brutal enough. Add on a tournament today which requires many fine teams to play four games in four days to be successful and you have an energy depleting dinosaur.

Teams at this point in the season are already bloodied, beaten down and worn out from the rigors of America's toughest conference schedule. Plus, it is a sin for Duke and State to play only one game during the regular season. What happened to the great rivalry of Vic Bubas and Everett Case?

The ACC Tournament has served its purpose. It is time to wake up and call it quits. What does a team like Carolina really have to gain this weekend?

With that said if someone called me today and offered me tickets to go to the tournament in Tampa I would be there in a heartbeat. I love it. So do the tournament leaders. The ACC is a cash cow. It is also a sacred cow and it's not going anywhere anytime soon despite complaints about its true value.  


Please with your account to comment on this story. You also will need a Facebook account to comment.

Oldest First
View all
  • Slip Kid Mar 9, 2007

    Yes, the value of the tournement is reduced in the light of a very competitive conference and schedules. However, let's not lose sight that college sports is for 1) the students and 2) actual school alumni & employees. It is ridiculous the amount of emphasis the typical sports fan puts on their expectations of a team and how the 'business' of college sports should cater to their sense success. College sports are amatuer sports played for fun and pure youthful competitiveness.

    I think the circus NCAA college basketball has become is missing the point of college athletics.

  • drnc Mar 8, 2007

    Maybe day one will be filled with upsets.

  • hefty-lefty Mar 8, 2007

    Pack it away with the Dixie Classics...

  • drnc Mar 8, 2007


  • mellow Mar 8, 2007

    Maryland and State played a game in 1974? Who knew? The media should really mention it more often. That, and the '83 title run just don't get the coverage they deserve.

  • packandcanesfan Mar 8, 2007

    I think the addition of so many teams has changed the whole look and feel of ACC Basketball. I remember the days of just the 7 teams and couldn't wait to get home from school to watch it. The play in game was dreaded but the excitement was fever pitch. A fellow Wolfpacker and myself were talking the other day and agreed the days when winning the ACC tourney was your only way to get to the Big Dance truly made it exciting. The 1974 game when my Pack played Maryland was truly one of the greatest.

  • lovetheheels Mar 8, 2007

    Bill -
    You're right on many points here. But, it generates too much TV money for the conference for them to let it go. And I certainly agree with your point about the "tobacco road" teams - they should ALWAYS have a home-and-home and let the rest of the schedule fall where it may!! Go Heels!

  • urbudelar Mar 8, 2007

    My stand is clear: I think we should do away with the ACC Tournament. But the realist inside of me says it will never happen.

  • usnn Mar 8, 2007

    C'mon Bill, take a stand. How wishy washy can you get?

  • wolfmom402 Mar 8, 2007

    You are right Bill! The game was played in Greensboro, getting tickets to the games were the hottest ticket around, you took a small TV to work on Thursday and put it under your desk, you got the office pools going and things came to a virtual standstill. Oh, to have the good ol" days.....




Meet the Author
Bill Leslie