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The end of an era

Forbes/Charlotte, NC Skyline

The Atlantic Coast Conference was founded in 1953 with eight founding members: Duke, Clemson, North Carolina, Maryland, South Carolina, Wake Forest, NC State, and Virginia. Since then, more than a few teams have come and gone, including Syracuse in 2014. But with all the movement, there has been one constant.

The ACC was founded in Greensboro, North Carolina and that city has remained home to the conference’s headquarters. The Greensboro Coliseum has hosted 28 ACC Men’s Basketball Tournaments and 23 Women’s Basketball Tournaments. But the city’s relationship with the conference is about to change.

Charlotte is a roughly 90-minute drive Southwest from Greensboro, but why change the location of your headquarters?

“They’ve been interested in perhaps expanding their commercial footprint,” Andrew Carter, who has covered multiple ACC schools, said. “Being in a place with more business opportunities, more chances to connect with different corporations and build some brand synergies.”

Charlotte’s population nearly triples Greensboro’s and has hosted 12 of the last 13 ACC Championships. But the fact that Charlotte is a bigger city was a mere fraction of the equation.

“I think that was important for North Carolina schools,” Carter said. “Maybe this will keep it in a pretty central location.”

Four ACC schools hail from the Old North State: Wake Forest, Duke, NC State, and North Carolina. Clemson, Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech, and Virginia are all in states that neighbor North Carolina. The only ACC schools further away from Charlotte than Syracuse are Boston College and Miami.

Even though it’s not a huge difference in terms of travel time, chances are SU Men’s Basketball fans are happy that the headquarters are no longer in Greensboro. In fact in each of the last two ACC Tournaments at the Greensboro Coliseum, the Orange’s season was ended on a buzzer-beating three-pointer. But even if Syracuse fans aren’t too fond of it, there’s a lot of history in that building.

“(Former North Carolina Head Coach) Dean Smith won his first ACC Tournament Championship in Greensboro,” Carter remarked. “So many memories over the years, (Former Duke) Coach K won his first ACC Tournament Championship in Greensboro.”