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ACC coaches want Madison Square Garden for ACC Tournament

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Streeter Lecka

The discussion's been brought up several times since Pitt and Syracuse announced they were headed to the ACC - why not play the conference basketball tournament in Madison Square Garden or in New York?

The conventional wisdom has generally been that the league with so many teams in and around North Carolina would be against wanting to come so far north. But you can count the league's two premier coaches among the supporters of such a plan - Mike Krzyzewski and Roy Williams:

We have New York, we should use it," Coach K told at the Peach Jam. "If we don’t use it, we’re foolish. We use [Madison Square Garden] at Duke, we come there every year."

Both Coach K and Williams said they would at least be in favor of rotating the ACC Tournament through the Garden — if not having it there every year.

"It’s really, really hard for me to give up on Greensboro (N.C.), but boy having the ACC Tournament in New York would really be something special," Williams told

Moving the tournament north would be a lot easier if the two coaches supported the plan, obviously. They're not the only ones, though. Others interested in playing in Madison Square Garden include new/soon to be new ACC coaches Jim Boeheim, Mike Brey, Rick Pitino, and Pitt's Jamie Dixon.

You can also add North Carolina State's Mark Gottfried to the list of supporters:

"Selfishly for our fans and for us, I like Greensboro but I also think playing in New York City brings a level of prestige to the league maybe that nowhere else can in the world," he told

"I think it’s something that our league really needs to evaluate and take a hard look at it and go from there."

A sticking issue, as has been discussed here before, is that the Big East has the rights to play there. But as I also mentioned in the past, the venue can get out of that deal with certain stipulations. And as the linked ZagsBlog article points out, the ACC could even try to swing a deal with the Big East.

Either way, it looks like the ACC could eventually find their way up north.

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