Can you imagine an ACC men’s basketball tournament without NC State, North Carolina, or Duke?
According to ACC commissioner Jim Phillips, the ACC could potentially proceed with 18 teams in the future.
The ACC, which currently has 15 teams, will include Cal, SMU, and Stanford in the upcoming summer. Phillips does not support the idea of having all 18 teams participate in the men’s and women’s basketball tournaments. As the league has grown from eight teams to its current size, it has traditionally included all teams in the postseason basketball tournament by extending the duration and number of rounds.
During the ACC Tipoff event in Charlotte, Phillips expressed uncertainty about inviting 18 teams to a men’s or women’s basketball championship.
In my opinion, one must earn the opportunity to participate in the most esteemed basketball tournaments in the country. If you do not meet a certain standard, you will not qualify for the tournament in a given year.
Currently, the league’s postseason baseball, softball, and women’s soccer events do not include all members.
Phillips stated that the current schedule of Tuesday-Saturday or Wednesday-Sunday has been working well for all parties involved, including the media, teams, fans, and staff. While he is not particularly eager to add another day, he will consider input from the membership.
Coaches opposing the use of a smaller playing field.
Some of the coaches for the men’s basketball league expressed their disapproval towards this decision. Others stated that they have not yet considered the details or impact of not inviting all teams.
According to NC State coach Kevin Keatts, it’s important to invite all teams to the NCAA Tournament because upsets are a big part of what makes it so popular.
Keatts expressed his desire for finding a solution that would allow all teams to participate, possibly by extending the schedule or adding an extra day. He believes this would create exciting potential for an underdog team to make it to the championship after starting on a Friday.
Brad Brownell, coach of Clemson, expressed his preference for a wide-ranging tournament.
According to Brownell, not qualifying for the NCAA Tournament means that your conference tournament becomes your opportunity. This could potentially harm some teams, as it is rare for lower-seeded teams to be victorious. However, the chance to compete is still present.
As a traditional Indiana resident, I believe in equality and wish there were no social hierarchies. It would be more exciting if everyone had the opportunity to compete in the same tournament, although I acknowledge there may be logistical and time constraints. Personally, I support the inclusion of as many teams as possible.
Mike Young, the coach of Virginia Tech, stated that he will have a conversation with Phillips regarding the proposal and will advocate for the inclusion of all teams in the event. He acknowledged the potential concern of extending the event by one day.
Young expressed concern about not including every team in the ACC Tournament and believes it is crucial to do so.
Coach Jim Larranaga of Miami expressed that he would like to further assess the situation before making a decision on what is most beneficial.
Larranaga stated that the main objective in March should be to qualify for the dance. The focus should be on finding the most effective method to ensure that eight teams are able to participate in the ACC tournament. He clarified that he is not necessarily in favor of only allowing eight teams to compete, but is uncertain about the best approach.
ACC expansion decision
The September vote for expansion was split among the members. Clemson, Florida State, and North Carolina opposed the addition of western schools. NC State’s vote was crucial in approving the expansion.
However, in a more confident and assertive tone than before, Phillips stated that the decision has had absolutely no impact.
He stated, “We are progressing.” “We are progressing together. I do not sense any lingering effects from the schools that may have opposed the expansion aspect.”
While Florida State and Clemson grumble about potentially leaving the conference, Phillips said the ACC has been responsive to membership demands for unequal revenue distribution through its “success initiative.” The new schools will receive lesser money from the league’s television contract with ESPN in order to fund some of that distribution. Phillips said some money from the expanded College Football Playoff will also be used.
According to him, we have taken a proactive approach. The allocation of funds towards the success initiative is a major topic of discussion among schools that have expressed their opinions.
Phillips primarily justified the choice to include a western division as a strategic move to safeguard the league’s future well-being. The ACC and Big Ten will continue with 18 members, while the SEC and Big 12 will have 16.
If certain schools from the ACC switch over to the influential (and wealthy) Big Ten and SEC, the transition to having 18 teams provides a sense of stability.
According to Phillips, our conference used to be local, but now it has become a national event. He also mentioned that two years ago, we may not have made this change, but circumstances have shifted and we must adapt or risk being left behind.
The ACC expanded after the three remaining Power 5 schools, but Phillips stated that the league had extensive discussions for many hours about potential expansion options beforehand.
Phillips stated that through discussions and interactions with different organizations, it became clear that we needed to take financial action to safeguard our position.
“The ACC is in good condition. Ultimately, my responsibility is to oversee the league and ensure its continued well-being for the next 70 years, just as it has been for the past 70 years. While I cannot dictate individual sentiments on college campuses, we have proactively tackled any issues that have been brought to our attention. I am very confident and optimistic. This is the most positive I have felt in a long time. I cannot say the same for a year ago.”