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N.C. Opinions: Greensboro

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A hometown ACC event

From an editorial Tuesday in the (Greensboro) News & Record:

We expect better weather for the Atlantic Coast Conference men’s basketball tournament than what we experienced for the women’s event last week.

Snow and freezing rain delayed the start of Friday’s quarterfinal games, which then were interrupted by a power outage at the Greensboro Coliseum. Attendance also was diminished because thousands of area schoolchildren saw all their planned activities canceled.

Better fortune is in store for this week, when men’s teams from all 15 ACC schools compete in the country’s oldest and best conference tournament. Three schools – Syracuse, Pittsburgh and Notre Dame – will make their first visit to Greensboro.

The weather might not be perfect throughout the five-day event, which opens Wednesday, but we can say two things about that: The newcomers are used to worse weather, and they will receive a warm welcome.

Greensboro can’t control the weather, but it does stage outstanding sporting events. It also recognizes that this year marks the beginning of a new ACC era. The conference now counts more members than ever and covers a wider territory. What’s more, Syracuse, Pitt and Notre Dame – plus Louisville, which will join this summer – bring their own tradition. As members of the old Big East Conference, they held their annual basketball extravaganza at New York City’s Madison Square Garden – a site some fans consider the sport’s biggest stage.

So, there’s almost no doubt that MSG in NYC figures into the ACC’s future.

But Greensboro is home. The ACC began here, is anchored here and holds title events in many sports here. Greensboro doesn’t have the marquee attractions of New York City, but the ACC tournament isn’t a fashion show or Broadway play. It’s college basketball, and nowhere is college basketball loved more or treated with more respect.

The men’s tournament will return to Greensboro next year. It goes to Washington, D.C., in 2016. After that, the schedule is open. Many future dates should be assigned to Greensboro, and this week will show why.

Besides, New York is expecting snow.

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