The ACC announced Tuesday morning that the ACC Tournament this year will be held in Greensboro, NC, instead of Washington DC due to ongoing concerns around the coronavirus pandemic. The move will bring the event to the Greensboro Coliseum for the second year in a row after last year’s tournament was met with an early end following the shut down of most major sports in the United States in mid-March.
Carolina had just lost to Syracuse in last year’s tournament when the games the following day were canceled. In fact, word that Rudy Gobert had tested positive and the NBA was suspending their season spread through the Coliseum as UNC’s game was in progress. All the dominoes that began to fall as a result of that happened at warp speed and the following day’s games were canceled with Florida State being named the champions.
It’s always fun when the tournament is held in Greensboro for those of us who grew up associating the even with the Coliseum. As the conference has expanded, the decision to move the tournament around makes logistical sense, but the sense of nostalgia when it comes to Greensboro is just unmatched. It’s exciting that we’ll get another shot at a real tournament there this year, hopefully with a vaccine coming down the pipe sooner rather than later.
I was sitting on press row at the Coliseum when the news began to spread that everything we knew about sports at the time was about to change. It was a surreal experience and truly represented, for me, the last moments of everything feeling somewhat normal. I obviously have real concerns about how this basketball season will play out having seen the toll the virus has taken on college football so far this season, but we do feel much closer to a resolution than we have at any other point, and for that I’m thankful.
Here’s hoping the season goes off without a hitch, the Tar Heels stay healthy, and that they find a way to make a lot of noise when the tournament comes around in March.