Introducing the ACC Vault, Another Great Way to Idle Away Hours of Your Time

Posted by rtmsf on December 15th, 2010

Matt Patton is an RTC contributor.

Everyone has a first memory as a fan.  Mine came in 1997, the day before my seventh birthday.  I’m sure I went to college basketball games before this, but none of them stand out.  I was in first grade, headed to the ACC Tournament championship game.  The game was between N.C. State and North Carolina.  The Wolfpack were the electric underdogs, if you can call a team that runs a modified Princeton offense electric.  They were the eighth seed in a nine-team conference, having put away Georgia Tech, Maryland and top seeded Duke in the process. 

How Cool is This? (photo credit: SI.com)

My most vivid memories from the game were Ramses and Mr. Wuf (the mascots) getting into a fight ending with a one-horned sheep and a victorious wolf; N.C. State losing the game; and my younger brother switching his allegiances to the Tar Heels for the rest of the day much to the chagrin of my parents.   A surprisingly thick head of hair topped Herb Sendek’s head, as he led a team of overachievers to the conference championship game in his first year of coaching.  But the real history was held by the man coaching the Tar Heels.  I’m embarrassed to say this, but until yesterday I never knew that was Dean Smith’s last ACC game.  I had no idea. 

This game, along with dozens of “full-length, classic Tournament and regular season men’s basketball games from all 12 ACC member institutions,” is now available online at the ACC Vault.  You’ve likely seen the NCAA Vault (another must-visit site for any college hoops fan), and the ACC and Raycom Sports have followed suit.  The site features games from 1983 through the present with some really cool features that make the viewing process more user-friendly.  I’ll list some highlights for each school after the jump, but seriously, how cool is this?

Say you want to see where North Carolina’s Shammond Williams explodes for nine quick points to open up an 11-point lead.  Consider it linked.  Additionally you can filter by team and year, or search by player.  The ACC Vault also has metadata that includes highlights embedded in a convenient timeline in your video player in case you want to watch the games at a faster pace.  They also include a searchable play-by-play and highlight list from each game.  Or maybe you want to see Duke’s Joey Beard clutch and finish for the dunk to seal a victory over Florida State.  Or Jerry Stackhouse block a shot into the fifth row of the stands.  Or see Michael Jordan against Duke?  The ACC Vault has it all.  There are games from all of the ACC Tournaments and teams.  Oh, and they don’t have commercials.  No more hunting down grainy YouTube clips that often only have the tail end of great games.  You can relive old favorites or find new ones. 

But back to the revisitation of my first fan memory.  With my newfound knowledge I watched the entire 1997 ACC Tournament final again, and realized quickly that N.C. State should have won the game.  Herb Sendek flat out-coached the legend on the other end of the floor (cue all sane N.C. State fans grumbling about him leaving, and the rest yelling about what a terrible coach he was).  UNC couldn’t keep the Wolfpack from getting open look after open look zone or man-to-man.   This is the same North Carolina team with Vince Carter and Antawn Jamison (and the goofiest Carolina player of all time, Serge Zwikker).  Time and time again, N.C. State came down and used great ball movement to open up a man on the perimeter or find someone on a backcourt cut.  State even kept the Tar Heels from getting the ball inside to their power players in the second half.  Complete incompetence in transition and the inability to make open shots down the stretch kept N.C. State from winning that game.

NC State Fans Surely Miss Sendek Now

I could show you highlights from that game, a box score or even a play-by-play.  But you might not notice how close it actually was, or that at times it felt like the Wolfpack were on the brink of control.  You might know the storylines: the bright young coach takes on the most winningest coach in history at the time (as a side note: young Sendek looks eerily similar to Brad Stevens at times), but you would still probably miss the feel that only comes with watching an entire game.  Now you can do that, thanks to ACC Vault.   

As promised, here are some Epic Plays for every team (Duke and North Carolina mentioned above):

  • N.C. State: Julius Hodge hits shot with less than ten seconds left and gets a block on the other end to force overtime. 
  • Maryland: Mike Jones cuts Duke’s lead to one with a dagger to help force overtime and Gary Williams’ first ACC Championship.
  • Florida State: The Seminoles could certainly use Sam Cassell’s sharpshooting and offensive jumpstart this season.
  • Virginia: Curtis Staples setting the all-time NCAA record for threes in a win over Florida State.
  • Clemson: Harold Jamison slams it home with less than a second left to beat North Carolina.
  • Wake Forest: Tim Duncan blocks Rasheed Wallace en route to a Demon Deacon victory over North Carolina.
  • Georgia Tech: John Salley gets the clutch tip-in for the Yellow Jackets in a photo finish.
  • Virginia Tech: A.D. Vassallo keeps the Hokies tied with Maryland with a clutch dunk.
  • Boston College: Tyrese Rice sinks the long three at the buzzer to lead North Carolina at the half.
  • Miami: Guillermo Diaz single-handedly carries the Hurricanes to an overtime win over Maryland.
rtmsf (3748 Posts)


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3 Responses to “Introducing the ACC Vault, Another Great Way to Idle Away Hours of Your Time”

  1. JR says:

    Came across this the other day, awesome site. This is the only conference with a site like this right? Anyone know of plans for any others?

  2. rtmsf says:

    Only one I’ve heard of, but admittedly, I haven’t been searching either. Now if Raycom could make their games stop looking like they’re filmed from the bottom of a bathtub, we’d be onto something.

  3. Matt says:

    I think this is Raycom’s doing, and I haven’t seen any others. Hopefully this will catch on, and other conferences will add one (and maybe and ESPN3classic or something for games that ESPN owns the rights to). But there isn’t much incentive unless there’s some way to turn these sites into money.

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