ACC Afternoon Five: ACC Tournament Thursday EditionPosted by KCarpenter on March 8th, 2012
It’s that special time of year. The tournament begins today in Atlanta and the teams of the Atlantic Conference are buzzing with the excitement and desperation of the opportunity to make closing arguments. Lots of teams have a lot to prove, but let’s zero in on some of the more interesting subplots of today.
- Atlanta Journal-Constitution: It’s an oft-repeated refrain, but it’s one that deserves further examination: The ACC Tournament isn’t what it used to be. In 1983, this same paper referred to the tournament as the toughest ticket in sports. Today, tickets will be available at the gate. Though the tournament sold out last year, in 2009 and 2010 tickets went on sale to the general public. The last time that happened? 1966. The excitement around the league isn’t what it used to be and, granted, this year’s Atlanta location is much farther away from Tobacco Road than Greensboro, but it’s still a sad and sobering story to see the decline of the once great conference.
- Raleigh News & Observer: For the first time, television viewers in ACC country will have a choice about which broadcast of the tournament they want to watch. In years past, viewers in places like the Research Triangle in North Carolina got a “local” broadcast by Raycom sports, while the rest of the nation got ESPN’s coverage. Due to the conditions of the new ESPN television deal, ESPN’s ACC Tournament broadcasts will not be blacked out in areas that typically watch ACC play on Raycom. This may seem like a fairly inconsequential development to fans, but as Luke DeCock describes, this is a major battle ground for the high-stakes rating wars of big time college sports. The numbers are staggering and the implications interesting.
- Washington Times: Patrick Stevens takes a look back at Maryland‘s season and is a little weirded out by what he sees. The Terrapins have had a very odd year plagued by injuries, NCAA suspensions, and a huge changing of the guard with the retirement of Gary Williams. Despite the heroics of Terrell Stoglin and others, Maryland’s season has been little more than disappointing. Though the team clearly seems to want to try to make a run as deep as possible into March, it’s very clear that Mark Turgeon is mostly looking to put this season in the rear view.
- Boston Globe: How would you feel if you went into the ACC Tournament as the last seed? I’d feel pretty terrible, but the Eagles of Boston College are, as much as possible, optimistic about the team’s opportunities. Like Maryland, the Eagles acknowledge that their brightest days are certainly well ahead of them, and look back on the past season with shaking heads. Still the team is at least saying the right things: Yes this team will be better in two years, but we are also looking to be better now. Boston College knows it played pretty poorly during the regular season, but the team seems to truly believe that they are a better team now. This is probably true, but now all that remains to be seen is if that matters.
- Blogger So Dear: Do you want to see all the teams in the first round of the tournament compared to Bojangles menu items? Of course you do.