The Atlantic Coast Conference holding its men’s basketball tournament in Madison Square Garden?
Not in this cycle. Not for the four or five-year commitment the ACC has used in its deals in Greensboro, Charlotte and Atlanta.
Probably not at all.
The ACC spring meetings are being held this week in Amelia Island, Fla. One of the news tidbits that has floated to the surface of meetings which generally produce little or no public pronouncements from the ACC, was that New York and the Garden were receiving serious consideration.
First of all, the Garden is committed to the New Big East through the year 2026, although there are escape clauses for the Garden if attendance drops during the Big East tournament.
But that is not the real issue. Oh, with a northern tier group of schools which will now include Pittsburgh, Syracuse and Boston College, there is a faction of the ACC that would want to bring the ACC tournament to New York City and Madison Square Garden. But that would be tolerated for a year or maybe two years at most.
Beyond that, there is no way the ACC will agree to a multi-year commitment away from its Tobacco Road base. And I just can’t see anyway the Garden would agree to only a one year deal. And if that happens, what does the Big East do? Go to Greensboro for a two-year southern holiday?
That might work in the Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn, which currently hosts the Atlantic 10. But there is no real comparison between the Garden and the Barclay Center in terms of history or tradition or the sense of being in New York City.
And the ACC also might be surprised by the lack of enthusiasm that fans from Pittsburgh and Syracuse will display next spring in showing up in Greensboro, N.C. for the ACC tournament.
One of the attractions that the Big East had in playing in the Garden was that it was a destination point for fans who could come to New York City and see and do lots of things in addition to watching their basketball teams play.
Such is not the case in Greeensboro, which is not a destination point.
The feeling here is that despite the wide range of geographical points in the new look of conferences, the ACC will not come north (at least to New York City) for its annual version of March Madness.
The American Athletic Conference spring meetings (still called the Big East officially until July 1) will begin its meetings in Florida this weekend, with the two major items, of a logo for the new conference and sites for its men’s and women’s basketball tournament the main items of discussion. Philadelphia and Memphis, with Philadelphia (the Palestra) receiving the strongest support, although there are facility issues that are a cause of concern….Latest word from the new Big East is that a commissioner will be chosen within 7 to 10 days, which could be by the end of next week. Spring meetings are being held in Florida next week where a decision (if not an announcement) could be made….
Former BC coach Al Skinner and former BC assistant and current Northeastern associate coach Pat Duqette were the finalists in the search to be the next head coach at UMass-Lowell. One plan had Skinner as the head coach for a few years and Duquette as the coach in waiting of a program that is making a transition to Division 1 and the America East conference. But in the end, UMass-Lowell went with Duquette.
Reportedly, Duquette was offered only a 3-year deal, which is tough for a program making the transition to Division 1. But Duquette, who was on Skinners staff at BC and has worked at Northeastern the past few years with head coach Billy Coen (another former Skinner assistant), will carry the enthusiasm factor to a new level in his first job as a head coach. Skinner continues to get a raw deal in his search to get back into coaching.
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