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Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Gone Baby Gone

Tournament Town is about to be short a tournament.
I spent today at opening day of the 2015 ACC men's basketball tournament, the last of its type to be held in Greensboro for five years. Knowing the tournament isn't long for this city is bittersweet, and while it's probably in the ACC's interest in a lot of ways to court a larger market. my interest lies with Greensboro, not the league, and I hate to see them go. i see the next decade or so for the ACC playing out like so: The next five have already been slated: 2016 will be in DC, 2017 and 2018 in Brooklyn, and 2019 goes to Charlotte before returning to Greensboro in 2020.

In the half decade to follow, I predict we'll see Brooklyn again, if only to keep their eye across the bridge. The south gets a nod, probably in the form of Atlanta, especially since the SEC would return after 2025 at the earliest. We may even see them throw a bone to the northern/western contingent of the conference, in the form of, say, Pittsburgh.

I think it come back home to Greensboro in 2025, not unlike the every-five-years schedule the NCAA has with their home base in Indianapolis. We may even get it in 2026.

And it will be the last time we see it.

Why 2026? It's in that magical year that the reportedly ironclad contract between the conference that calls itself the Big East and Madison Square Garden is up. Knowing the Garden is in the habit of long term contracts, I foresee the ACC signing on the dotted line in Manhattan and never looking back.

I'd love to be wrong about this, but I think the attraction between the east coast's premier league and the east coast's premier city will be too strong.
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