When you write for the leading newspaper in the country, you ought to know what you are talking about. William C. Rhoden fails to meet this standard in today's NY Times.
Rhoden makes two false statements in the article. He claims that the ACC "was formed primarily as a basketball conference." Not so. The ACC was formed at the instigation of Clemson and Maryland, who were chafing at the Southern Conference's ban on participation in bowl games. Football concerns created the ACC. Rhoden also serves up the following whopper: that the ACC roster "remained unchanged until 1971, when South Carolina bolted for the Southeastern Conference." South Carolina left the ACC for independent status, and suffered in the wilderness for twenty years before the SEC threw them a lifeline.
It may be that the ACC's "quaint tradition," a term used twice in the story, is at risk from the football-motivated expansion of the past year. But what is quaint about the ACC tournament? Its ruthless nature in the early days bothered every ACC coach save NC State's Everett Case. They wanted to can it from the start, and didn't warm to it for years. It still bugs North Carolina's Roy Williams, even though a loss doesn't end your season the way it once did. Nothing was quaint about the epic NC State-Maryland final of 1974, essentially that year's national championship game. Nor Greg Buckner's dunk at the buzzer to give Clemson the rarest of a rare road victory over the Tar Heels in 1996. Nor the incredible 2001 semi-final between Duke and Maryland (precursor to their NCAA final four matchup), yet another buzzer game in which the victor moved on and the loser went home. There is nothing quaint about the ACC tournament or its tradition. Rhoden doesn't know what he's talking about.
Back to the game: Georgia Tech and Duke are tied at 26 apiece. Go Jackets!