Friday, March 12, 2010

A Different Kind Of ACC Tournament

Having been to more than 30 ACC Tournaments, I'm not sure I've ever been to one like this one.

It's only one day old but this one feels different -- and not in a good way. On Thursday, the tournament was missing several things, most notably a full house, a sense of passion and brilliant play.

The games were hard-fought but generally ugly. Wow moments were harder to find than Florida State fans.

Field goal percentages stayed in the 30s like the temperature did for too long around here. Even when N.C. State shot 52 percent in its victory over Clemson, it was workmanlike.

Tournament games tend to be quieter than regular-season games because of the make-up of the crowds. They're long on rich alums, short on noisy students. When the games get close, the noise cranks up but it never got seriously loud on Thursday. Maybe had the Tar Heels won but that, of course, didn't happen.

And there was a time when the thought of empty seats at the ACC Tournament was outrageous. But there were big chunks of empty seats on Thursday afternoon and noticeable gaps during the evening session. With the Tar Heels and Wake Forest already gone, seeing a full house today seems unlikely. Ditto for Saturday.

This tournament can still be saved. It's only one day old and the top teams play Friday. Maybe the electricity returns.

Maybe the saving grace will be a Duke-Maryland championship game on Sunday.

But that's still a long way away.

-- Ron Green Jr.


Ron Wagner said...

The ACC is the weakest it has ever been. The coaching is terrible. Expansion has only watered things down more with average teams with apathetic fan bases. Throw in the fantasy that the event needs to be held in Final Four-sized arenas and you get something that looks like the Southern Conference on TV. It's sad.

HokieTT said...

Uhh, Ron...2 of the top 4 seeds are "expansion" teams. What has watered the league down is the lack of consistency by teams that should be winning more, like GT, Clemson, and Wake.

Anonymous said...

Maybe the ACC should kick out the bottom dwellers like UVA, NC State and Miami - O thats right THEY ALL WON YESTERDAY!!! Maybe it is not that the expansion hurt the league but actually kept it afloat. Otherwise it would be an awful year, far worse than you think it is now, and football would be a total embarassment for a BCS conference. BTW as yesterday the ACC was second best basketball conference in the NCAA based on the Sagarin Rating - not too bad for a down year - thanks "Expansion Teams"

Ron Wagner said...

HokieTT, finishing tied for third in the ACC is the definition of average. And while I applaud your Hokies for no longer being the bottom-feeders they once were, one NCAA tournament since 1996 is hardly keeping the league in the national spotlight.