The announcement that fans would not be allowed at the remainder of the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) Men’s Basketball Tournament was naturally the hot topic at the Greensboro Coliseum on Wednesday night.
After each game during the tournament the coaches bring a couple of players to a press conference and, most of the time, the questions sports reporters ask are about the game they just played or the one coming up, as you would expect.
But after Notre Dame beat Boston College 80 to 58 to advance to the next round against Virginia, Notre Dame Coach Mike Brey and his players T. J. Gibbs and Juwan Durham instead found themselves trying to answer questions about what it would be like on Thursday with no fans in the building. News that they had heard about the same time as the media.
When asked if playing without a crowd would effect his game, Gibbs said, “It’s going to be more like a scrimmage than a game, but we can’t let ourselves think of it like that.”
Durham agreed that it was going to seem like a scrimmage without the fans in the building.
Gibbs said it would be tough playing without his family there, and Brey told him that families would be allowed to attend. So even those most involved are not certain about how all this is going work.
Brey said, “I don’t think there is going to be a big let down or distractions. They still know they are playing on TV.” He said that players at the level of the ACC understood what was on line whether they were playing in front of a crowd or not.
When asked if he was surprised by the decision, Brey said, “I kind of felt this was coming after hearing about the NCAA.”
He added, “I even thought they might shut it down today. I never thought we’d have fans on Thursday, after the NCAA announcement.”
Brey said, “Moving forward after this week is going to be really interesting.”