Fans ready for impending ACC tourney expansion
Posted March 14, 2013
Greensboro, N.C. — Although fans still have three days to celebrate the 60th edition of the ACC Tournament, changes are coming.
Notre Dame, Syracuse and Pittsburgh will begin competing in the league this summer, and Louisville isn't far behind. Soon enough, the tournament will look quite different thanks to the latest round of ACC expansion.
Fans in attendance for Thursday's opening round were generally supportive of the changes to the league, but some were disappointed that Maryland – an original member of the conference – will soon be headed to the Big Ten.
"I'm in the hotel industry, so it's good for us," Brian Williams, an NC State fan who works in the hotel industry, said. "The more teams, the more people. Overall, expansion is good. But I'm going to miss those rivalries for sure."
Despite the changes in tradition being a sticking point for some, Alex Sanchez, a North Carolina fan, said he expects competition to be better than ever once new teams arrive and the conference tournament expands into a fifth day.
"It's finally going to be up to par with where the Big East has been the last few years of the Big Ten this year," Sanchez said.
ACC Commissioner John Swofford agrees, saying recently that he expects the competition to be brutal.
“From a basketball perspective, the level of competition will be second to none," he said in a statement. "As we look towards the future, there’s no denying that ACC basketball will continue to set even higher standards of excitement and excellence."
Matt Amick, a Maryland fan, said he's torn about the Terps' exit.
"I'm not sure I'm even going to pull for them after next season," he said. "I might have to pick a new team."