The Atlantic Coast Conference Men’s Basketball Tournament, which for years took place only in the City of Greensboro –  where it truly belongs – is now a traveling road show.

Much to the chagrin of Greensboro and Guilford County residents, the tournament will be played this year in Capital One Arena in Washington, DC, starting with the first games on Tuesday, March 12 and ending Saturday, March 16.

The tournament began in 1954, with the first one being played in Reynolds Coliseum in Raleigh. The ACC Tournament was always played in North Carolina until 1976, when the tournament took place in the Capital Center in Landover, Maryland.

That Capital Center tournament was the sole exception in the middle of a long span of ACC Men’s Basketball Tournaments in Greensboro that, year after year, spoiled Greensboro residents – who came to accept the city as the obvious place where the ACC Tournament should be and where it naturally should stay.

From 1971 to 1980, with the exception of the 1976 tournament in Landover, the Greensboro Coliseum was the sole venue for the tournament. It was really during that decade of the ‘70’s that the tournament married Greensboro and settled down – with the sole infidelity happening in 1976.

It wasn’t just Guilford County residents who loved having the tournament in Greensboro. Throughout that decade, there was constant praise of the city, the location and the coliseum by coaches, players, refs, ACC administrative staff and others putting on the show, due to how well the coliseum handled the visitors.

Duke Coach Mike Krzyzewski once said that he wished the tournament was always played in Greensboro because, when it’s there, the event takes over the entire city, whereas, when it moves to a larger city such as Atlanta or Brooklyn, it’s just one of many other big events going on there.

Coach K also frequently praised the Greensboro Coliseum staff over the years for the way they treated participants – as did many, many other coaches and players.

When the tournament was held in Greensboro, members of the local and national media were all treated astonishingly well – which was a good idea since that couldn’t help but bring good press to the venue.

The good news is that the ACC Tournament will be back in Greensboro in 2027 and 2029.  The bad news is that, now that the conference has added Cal, Stanford, and SMU, in several years the Atlantic Coast  Conference Men’s Basketball Tournament might be in San Francisco.