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Joe Ovies

Future of ACC on display at Final Four

Posted April 5, 2013

Syracuse and Louisville are technically representing the Big East at the Final Four in Atlanta, but they have the full attention of ACC fans. It's all we can do without any teams from the conference making the trip for the third straight year.

It's a preview of sorts for what the conference will finally look like once the realignment dust settles.

ACC commissioner John Swofford understood the changing landscape of college sports when he initially expanded the conference with Miami, Virginia Tech and Boston College to improve the football brand. Swofford used similar talking points with the subsequent additions of Syracuse, Pittsburgh, Notre Dame and Louisville.

However, the cliched talk of footprints and academic fits rang a little hollow, since the moves were reactionary instead of forward thinking. Credit to Swofford for convincing his constituents to come off longstanding positions such as full-time membership, but the ACC made moves to survive in a volatile landscape.

Strangely enough, the ACC came out the other side as a stronger basketball conference when it was clearly not the goal. The irony is not lost on Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski, who used a couple NCAA tournament press conferences to offer his opinion on how officials in Greensboro should best use their strong assets. 

"It makes us the most powerful basketball conference, I think, ever," said Krzyzewski. "And I hope our league is able to understand the assets that we've accumulated and what it does to the assets we already have. I think if positioned properly, it sets us apart from anybody."

Back on March 19, Krzyzewski compared basketball and football to sodas when reminding everyone what founded the ACC in the first place. 

"Diet Coke, they’re still trying to sell Coke. In other words, you have something that’s going good, try to keep it really going good and I don’t think we’ve had an emphasis in that," said Krzyzewski. "In the future, with the league that we will have, we need to really go after it and take a look at everything that we do because we will have the most powerful basketball conference."

So how does the ACC use an already strong asset to prove all the other assets in the conference's portfolio? A subscription cable channel comes to mind, but Swofford seemed cool to the idea on 99.9FM The Fan back in March.

"In today's world it's the sexy thing to do," said Swofford. "I think it remains to be seen as to whether all those channels can be successful over the long term or not. We're very interested in that if the right business plan can be there that makes sense for us and ESPN."

The worldwide leader holds all the cards when it comes to the possibility of an ACC Network since they own all the inventory. While ESPN is working in conjunction with the SEC to start up their own network this summer, the suits in Bristol might be wary of starting up too many dedicated conference channels in the wake of their own Longhorn Network struggles and the PAC 12's issues getting into homes.

But Swofford does have control over how the ACC can market itself and create demand. For starters, the conference needs to come up with a new vision for the ACC Tournament. He can also manipulate demand during the regular season through better scheduling. 

The basketball slate is already imbalanced and the primary partner system unecessarly locks teams into forced "rivalries." Instead, Swofford should make the schedule fluid and adapt it to the demands of the audience. Right off the bat, the ACC would have must-see games with Syracuse visiting Cameron Indoor Stadium and the Smith Center. The first trips to Louisville would create incredible buzz.

And if the coaches complain about potential imbalance, Swofford can always point back to Krzyzewski's comments where he demanded these powerful assets to be utilized.

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  • rduguyhere Apr 6, 3:01 p.m.

    Once the teams/schedules/results have had a chance to play a few games, lets see how we (UNC,... View More

    — Posted by lanecc

    [quote=12309299]

    I have to ask you. When exactly has State College ever "ruled" the ACC? Maybe 40 years ago?

  • Hokies94 Apr 6, 2:27 p.m.

    I liked Coach K statement. The ACC will be the top conference of the entire Country.

  • StunGunn Apr 5, 8:03 p.m.

    I would like it if the ACC tournament is split up. Have the northern half of the conference play... View More

    — Posted by hi_i_am_wade

    Not a bad idea, wade.

  • StunGunn Apr 5, 8:01 p.m.

    Once the teams/schedules/results have had a chance to play a few games, lets see how we (UNC,... View More

    — Posted by lanecc

    I hope not! The ACC has such storied rivalries and I hate to see any of that watered down with the new schools joining the ACC. Duke and Carolina will have competition for top spots in the conference with Louisville and Syracuse joining.

  • shakennotstirred Apr 5, 12:09 p.m.

    Once the teams/schedules/results have had a chance to play a few games, lets see how we (UNC,... View More

    — Posted by lanecc

    Yeah, I still see UNC and Duke being preseason favorites for the near future. Their recruiting classes are as strong as ever and probably getting better. The biggest challenge is winning on the road. Always hard and getting harder...

  • lanecc Apr 5, 12:04 p.m.

    Once the teams/schedules/results have had a chance to play a few games, lets see how we (UNC, Duke, NCSU) like the new conference alignment. Things will NEVER be the same again. The local feel of the tournament, etc, gone forever. This was done for money. The addition of Pitt, Syracuse, ND, were to appease those that have moved south. There are lots of them and they wanted their teams to follow them. Watch out UNC, Duke and NCSU. Your days of ruling the conference are all but over. Good or bad, it's over.

  • hi_i_am_wade Apr 5, 11:39 a.m.

    I would like it if the ACC tournament is split up. Have the northern half of the conference play in a northern venue, not MSG. Have the southern half play in a southern venue, not Greensboro. The 2 teams that survive in each half of the bracket get a day off to travel to Greensboro. On Saturday and then Sunday, the surviving 4 teams will then play each other. This would mean no double-byes. I would stagger start times of each game so that when one game ends, another one is in the second half.

  • Sun Bowl: Duke vs. Arizona State

    Saturday at 2:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • CBB: Louisiana Tech at NC State

    Tuesday at 7:00 pm on WRAL-FM

Scoreboard
Local
Final
CAR 17
CLE 13
2nd
NYR 1
CAR 0
 
Final
TOR 118
NYK 108
Final
CLE 105
MEM 91
4th
MIA 98
BOS 84
 
4th
BRK 104
DET 102
 
4th
SAC 99
LAL 93
 
4th
ORL 84
PHI 92
 
4th
WAS 89
PHO 101
 
3rd
MIN 42
IND 61
 
3rd
OKC 53
NOP 57
 
Final
UVA 76
HARV 27
Final
BGU 68
FERST 82
 
Final
ARMY 72
MAINE 69
 
Final
QUIN 60
ORST 52
Final
CLST 69
USF 65
 
Final
CARK 55
CCAR 72
 
Final
UWGB 66
ARKLR 46
 
Final
RAD 74
CORN 61
 
Final
UNT 62
CREI 58
Final
CAN 67
HC 48
 
Final
USB 67
GHND 52
 
Final
OKST 64
MD 73
Final
WINT 100
REIN 72
 
Final
UGST 68
SMISS 55
Final
NEOM 77
TXPA 72
 
Final
STLU 58
VERM 55
 
Final
UNCA 62
WCU 66
 
Final
EVAN 81
ALAST 63
 
Final
HART 82
FIU 69
 
Final
VALPO 82
GOSHEN 55
 
Final
LIP 69
PEAY 63
 
Final
DEN 46
BRY 48
 
Final
MONT 62
SD 67
 
Final
MTST 65
TENST 47
Final
SAMF 64
LAMON 50
 
Final
SCAR 78
COKR 52
 
Final
HAMP 75
NARZ 66
 
Final
SDU 71
SDCHR 61
 
Final
BC 71
USC 75
 
Final
NICST 64
TROY 65
 
Final
BRAD 47
UCI 55
 
Final
UGA 65
SHU 47
 
2nd
ALA 60
APP 59
 
2nd
KSU 41
NDST 42
 
2nd
WASU 53
SJST 35
 
9:00pm Tonight
UTEP
ALCOR
 
10:00pm Tonight
SEAT
SACST
 
3rd
DET 1
COL 0
 
3rd
EDM 5
DAL 5
 
2nd
BOS 1
BUF 1
 
2nd
NYR 1
CAR 0
 
2nd
CHI 2
TOR 0
 
9:00pm Tonight
WIN
PHI
Final
NOS 14
ATL 30
Final
HOU 25
BAL 13
Final
CAR 17
CLE 13
Final
CHI 14
DET 20
Final
TAM 3
GBP 20
Final
PIT 20
KAN 12
Final
MIA 37
MIN 35
Final
NYJ 16
NEP 17
Final
STL 27
NYG 37
Final
OAK 26
BUF 24
Final
DAL 42
IND 7
8:30pm Tonight
ARI
SEA