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Thursday / August 11.
  • Boeheim Would Love to See ACC Tournament Come to MSG

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    NEW YORK — Count Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim among those who would love to see the ACC Tournament come to Madison Square Garden.

    “Oh, sure, it’s easy for our fans,” Boeheim told SNY.tv following his team’s 62-59 victory over future ACC rival Pittsburgh that set up a showdown with Georgetown in Friday’s Big East semifinals.

    “That’s the big thing, for our fans.”

    (Louisville coach Rick Pitino also told SNY.tv that the ACC would “benefit” from hosting their tournament at MSG. Read about that here.)

    An overwhelmingly pro-Syracuse crowd of 20,057 cheered the Orange as they fended off Pitt, thanks to Michael Carter-Williams’ late-game steal and clutch foul shots and James Southerland’s 6-for-6 shooting night from the arc. Carter-Williams finished with 11 points, 7 assists and 6 rebounds and Southerland poured in 20 points.

    Pete Thamel of SI.com suggested in this column that the ACC should make a bold strike and try to bring their tournament to the Garden.

    “If he’s smart ACC Commissioner John Swofford will call executives at Madison Square Garden soon and broker a 10-year continuous deal,” Thamel wrote. “Yes, the ACC is committed to Greensboro through 2015, but if you can stay in the Ritz Carlton why settle for a Super 8?

    “While it’s expected that the new’ Big East will pick up the old Big East’s Garden lease, MSG executives would be foolish to turn away a superior product.”

    One potential option would be for the ACC to rotate its tournament between the North and the South, between New York and a traditional Southern city like Greensboro.

    But where would that leave the Garden, which needs a postseason tournament every year and appears committed to the new Big East?

    “Would it be nice, absolutely,” Syracuse assistant Adrian Autry told SNY.tv of the possibility of having the ACC Tournament at the Garden.

    “But I think that league [the ACC] will have its choice of what they want to do. Everybody’s going to try to come after them and get them somewhere, so definitely with everything happening it’s going to be the best league from top to bottom.”

    Still, Autry thinks it could be a boon for the Garden if Duke, North Carolina and other ACC fans invaded the Garden each March.

    “I think that the ACC is a great conference and they got great fans, and I believe when you have those type of conferences, fans travel,” Autry said. “The Dukes and North Carolinas, those guys will travel anywhere. It would be good for us, but it would be something different. With the league being the way it’s going to be, you would have six or seven or eight teams that’s going to fill the place up. It would be, to me, the best conference with the addition of Louisville [in 2014]. So you got great programs in one conference.”

    By 2014, the ACC will have seven former Big East teams in Syracuse, Pittsburgh, Notre Dame, Louisville, Miami, Virginia Tech and Boston College.

    All of those schools — as well as the Dukes and North Carolinas — have alums in the Big Apple, too.

    “I’m sure they have fans up here as well, so I think it’s great,” former Syracuse great Derrick Coleman, who played a program-record 12 Big East Tournament games at the Garden, told SNY.tv.

    He added: “That would be great to give everybody in New York City the opportunity to see how the ACC plays basketball.”

    Syracuse assistant Gerry McNamara, who famously led Syracuse to the 2006 Big East Tournament title at the Garden, also would love to see the ACC Tournament come to the Garden.

    “It would be phenomenal, it would be outstanding,” he told SNY.tv. “I think we all know what it means to play in this building. We all share great memories here and if you’re a basketball player, this is where you want to be.

    “There’s nothing like being in the Garden in the city and if the tournament were to ever come here, it would be absolutely outstanding.”

    **For more on Jim Boeheim’s thoughts on retirement, read my column here.



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    Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle. A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.