North Carolina: ACC Basketball

A Guide for the Novice

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Once upon a time the geographic extremes of the Atlantic Coast Conference were College Park, Maryland to the north and Columbia, South Carolina to the south. There were a number of pretty intense twice-a-year-battle rivalries in those days, and everything was jake.

Then, in 1971, South Carolina bolted - and with it, the last of what once was an ACC staple: teams primarily stockedwith guys from New York City and its immediate environs, along with, once and for all, the much-loathed Frank McGuire - and though it meant the termination of some pretty sweet North Carolina-South Carolina match-ups, no one was too terribly troubled by the loss.

Georgia Tech came on board in 1978, and that was fine.

And in '91, here comes Florida State. Ummmmm okay. They were pretty good for a season or two.

Things stayed quiet for a while, but then, in 2005, Virginia Tech and Miami were added, and, the following year, sigh, Boston College.

These latter four schools were football additions (read: TV moolah), and most diehard ACC basketball fans were none too happy with the resultant dilution in quality on the hardwood and the considerable geographic dispersal. But what're ya gonna do?


Despite all the growth - and perhaps even more apparently so because of it - the true heart of the Atlantic Coast Conference lies right where it always has, in, approximately, Saxapahaw, North Carolina, which rests roughly equidistant from the Big Four: Wake Forest University, the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, Duke University and North Carolina State University - any combination of which comprises a Tobacco Road rivalry, the best the ACC has to offer, now and ever, regardless of who else comes and goes.

Who's next? The Saskatchewan Huskies? No matter. Bring em on. Right here's where the heart beats.

Before we turn our focus solely to the Big Four, let's give a shout-out to some of the all-time greats, of all ACC affiliations, who've graced the courts of the conference since its inception. Click on the first link and then  click on the rest:

ACC 50th Anniversary Basketball Team

North Carolina First team

North Carolina Second team

Honorable Mentions

All Time Great Performances

Big Four Performers


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