The Atlantic Coast Conference announced today that its 2016 men’s basketball tournament will be held at Washington D.C.’s Verizon Center.
Is there irony here? Former Maryland coach Gary Williams long pressed for the ACC tourney to return to the Washington area.
Now it decides to come back – the Verizon Center is a 25-minute drive from Maryland’s campus – and Maryland will be in the Big Ten. This is the Terps' final season in the ACC.
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The tournament was last held in Washington in 2005 – the Terps lost in their first game – and before that in 1976, 1981 and 1987.
The tournament’s most common site is Greensboro, N.C.
"It's been the best place to have it," Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said of Greensboro several years ago. "It's a place -- a neutral site. It's where our conference offices are," he said.
But Williams never thought of Greensboro as a neutral site -- not with four ACC schools located in North Carolina. He thought of ACC tournament games essentially as road contests. Duke is about 60 miles from Greensboro.