Long live the ACC Tournament.
The first ACC Men’s Basketball Tournament was held March 4-6, 1954 in Reynolds Coliseum. Every ACC Tournament between 1963 and 2008 was a sell-out with no tickets being made available for sale to the general public.
On January 28, 2011, I received an offer from my alma mater to buy two additional seats to the 2011 ACC Tournament — six weeks before the tournament.
This tells me the ACC Tournament won’t be a sellout for the third consecutive year.
What used to be three days with seven good to excellent basketball games is now four days with only three decent games out of 11.
It doesn’t help that only one ACC team is worthy of a top-25 ranking.
It doesn’t help that the ACC ranks fourth (68.5) behind the Big 10 (39.2), Big East (49.1) and Big 12 (55.4) in average Pomeroy (http://kenpom.com/) ratings.
It also doesn’t help that the conference admitted three football schools, one of which can’t fill up an 8,000-seat arena and won’t come close to selling their allotment of tournament tickets.
All good things must come to an end.
Unfortunately, I didn’t get to see the greatest game in college basketball history when number one N.C. State beat number four Maryland 103 to 100 in overtime on March 9, 1974 in the finals of the ACC Tournament. That was likely the high point of the tournament’s history.
The low point may be the inability to sell out Greensboro Coliseum in 2011.
Only the fans will suffer though. The ACC did sign a $1.86 billion contract with ESPN this summer.
Obviously, it’s the money that counts, not the fans.
That being said, I plan on attending my 36th consecutive tournament in March. I just won’t sit through all of the games. Do you still plan to go?
If you found this post interesting, also see “Consumer Insights on the Final Four” (http://wp.me/pYHt6-2V).