Sports historians will mark down that Duke University was the winner of the 2023 ACC Tournament.
However, there was another big winner as well – the city of Greensboro, which once again put on an event that, local advocates at least, believe is much better at the Greensboro Coliseum than at any other venue it visits.
Greensboro Sports Foundation President and CEO Richard Beard (above left) and other members of the Sports Foundation were positively beaming on Saturday, March 11 as they watched the Duke Blue Devils take on the Virginia Cavaliers in a close game that had all the electricity and magic of the ACC Tournaments of old before the league began moving it around.
“These last five days – this is what the ACC Tournament is all about,” Beard said.
He added that, when the tournament is played in Brooklyn or any of the other large cities it visits, it’s just not as special as it is when it’s in Greensboro.
Advocates of always playing the ACC Tournament in Greensboro point out that the reasons extend from the way the Greensboro Coliseum treats the players, coaches, refs and media to the rich history of the tournament in this city to the fact that it transforms the entire city when it’s here.
Duke Coach Mike Krzyzewski said years ago that he was an advocate of keeping the tournament in Greensboro because of the way that the tournament “takes over” the city. He said that, in larger cities, it’s just one of many other events going on and it creates a different atmosphere.
The Greensboro Coliseum is really getting a chance to show itself off to the college basketball world this year. In the week before the Men’s ACC Tournament, the Women’s ACC Tournament was played there and in a few days the Coliseum will host teams from all over the country since it will serve as a regional site for the first two rounds of the big dance.