Big East Commish Says ACC Tourney in New York Would be 'Great' | Zagsblog
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Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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Saturday / June 15.
  • Big East Commish Says ACC Tourney in New York Would be ‘Great’

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    AckermanVal Ackerman proudly stood on a podium on the Madison Square Garden floor late Saturday night handing out Big East Tournament championship trophies to Providence coach Ed Cooley and every member of his team.

    The Friars’ surprise victory in the Big East Tournament culminated a successful week for Ackerman in her first year as Commissioner of the revamped Big East.

    The tournament was exciting, culminating in a tense and taut game between a member of the Big East old guard (Providence) and a representative of the new Big East (Creighton). It somehow seemed appropriate that Dave Gavitt’s old school won its first Big East Tournament championship since 1994 and will go to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2004.

    And later Sunday, the Big East is expected to get four teams in the Big Dance — with Villanova and Xavier likely to join Providence and Creighton. If that happens, the Big East will get a higher percentage (40 percent) of teams into the NCAA Tournament than the ACC, which is expected to get 5 of its 15 teams in (33 percent).

    The ACC, of course, made headlines this week when news broke that the league will hold its postseason tournament in Brooklyn in 2017 and ’18, running in direct competition with the Big East.

    Not on “the moon” as Jim Boeheim suggested, or in “Siberia” as Roy Williams did.

    “It’s great for New York,” Ackerman told Bill Rhoden of the New York Times. “For New York City, it really cements the reputation this place has always had as a basketball mecca.”

    It’s likely that some fans will choose to attend the ACC Tournament instead of the Big East, especially if the ACC can deliver a Final Four of, say, Syracuse, Louisville, North Carolina and Duke.

    Certainly, the alums and boosters of those schools who live in the New York area will welcome the tournament coming to Brooklyn.

    But it’s also possible basketball fans in New York will attend both events, especially if the ACC keeps its semifinals on Saturday afternoon and final on Sunday afternoon. The Big East traditionally plays its semifinals on Friday night and its championship game on Saturday night.

    Theoretically, a hardcore fan could attend all of those games — and an intrepid reporter could cover them all.

    It will only be earlier in the week, on Wednesday and Thursday, that a fan, or a reporter, might have to choose between the two.

    “Everybody’s interested in New York, and that’s why we’re here,” Ackerman said. “The Garden has become a mecca for regular-season games, so the idea that another conference would want to have a part of that as it relates to the postseason is not a surprise at all.”

    New York City is a big place. Would it be a surprise if it two tournaments could thrive here on the same weekend?

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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.

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