Monday, March 10, 2008

UNC Requests ACC Tournament Move To Cameron

The Atlantic Coast Conference men’s basketball tournament is scheduled for Charlotte Bobcats Arena this Thursday through Sunday. However, top-seeded North Carolina is seeking a last-minute change to the proceedings. UNC has requested that the tournament be moved to Cameron Indoor Stadium in Durham.

The development comes in the wake of Saturday’s 76-68 victory by the Tar Heels over Duke. The win was UNC’s third in a row at Cameron, leaving senior Quentin Thomas as the only Tar Heel to have experienced defeat at the famous venue. At this point, the junior class led by national player of the year front-runner Tyler Hansbrough considers games at Cameron to be automatic victories. Therefore, the players begged coach Roy Williams to lobby the ACC to move the tournament there.

Insiders consider the relocation to be highly unlikely, given the logistics of staging such an event and the time frame involved. However, Williams raised a point to illustrate why Cameron would be such an appropriate venue. “The ACC Tournament is a huge event in this region. So why have it in an ARENA when you can hold it in a STADIUM?”

Others charge that staging the tournament on Duke’s home court would impair the neutrality of the event. A potential solution to that problem would be to refer to Cameron as Wallace Wade Stadium during the tournament, since no one ever accuses a Duke team of having a home crowd advantage at Wallace Wade Stadium. The playing surface itself is known as Coach K Court. That name is soon likely to change to Psycho T Court, because Hansbrough and his teammates clearly own the place.

Certainly Dick Vitale would be in favor of such a move, since he would spend every day in Cameron if he could. Not so happy would be the wealthy boosters from each of the twelve ACC schools. Instead of being granted the cushy seats they expected, the boosters would be forced to camp out in tents to get into the games. Even if the move is a longshot, some ACC players are stunned that this scenario has come to light. When asked for comment about UNC’s proposal, Duke point guard Greg Paulus reportedly fainted. However, it turned out that Paulus was simply trying to draw an offensive foul on the interviewer.

If the Heels do not get another opportunity to play in Cameron this week, at least they can reflect on their victorious experience from Saturday. After the game, many Cameron Crazies tried doing shots to drown their sorrows, but they were denied when the shots got blocked by Danny Green. For the third straight season, Senior Night in Cameron led to defeat for the home team. Representing the senior class, likely All-ACC first-teamer DeMarcus Nelson was held to six points. It’s a good thing that the Dukie who made a half-court shot during College GameDay is a graduate student. If he had been a senior, chances are his shot would have gone woefully awry, knocking the highlighter out of Digger Phelps’s hand and breaking Erin Andrews’s nose in Marcia Brady-esque fashion.

Chances are, Carolina will not get to play in the comfort of Cameron Indoor Stadium this weekend. Most fans anticipate a third Tar Heels-Blue Devils matchup in Charlotte on Sunday. If instead, the final matchup is UNC-Clemson, expect the Heels to lobby the ACC for a move once again. They’d definitely want that game in Chapel Hill.