I took off work yesterday to go down to DC for the first round of the ACC basketball tournament. Essentially it was the 2 play-in games for the 4 worst teams in the conference. They don’t officially call them play-in games, but that’s what they are. The good news about Wake Forest being so lousy at basketball these days it that I knew they would be one of the four teams playing. You could get fairly cheap single day tickets for the Tuesday games, so I decided to take advantage of the fact that I could go and be assured of seeing my team.
I’m never going to stop being mad at Maryland for leaving the ACC because it means I no longer have a guarantee of seeing a Wake game in person every year. However I will forgive my friends Brian and Teresa for moving from North Carolina to San Francisco even though it means that I don’t have the bonus of scheduling visits with them during basketball season and have the chance to see Wake play in Winston-Salem. So in short it was nice to have the opportunity to see a game in person for the first time in a couple years.
Wake Forest has had a pitiful basketball team for far longer than I care to think about at this point, but I am not a fair weather fan. I still go to games when I can and watch them on tv when I have access to them. Maryland leaving the ACC means that we don’t get nearly as many Wake games broadcast here as we no longer have a local ACC network. At least DirectTV and ESPN finally got their act together this year to allow me to watch games online if I happen to be home when they’re on.
Of course being at a game is a whole different experience. I got giddy walking into the Verizon Center and hearing Wake’s pep band playing our fight song. It’s so much more exciting to be a part of a crowd (or what little of a crowd there was at this game). Even though Wake lost to NC state in the end it was still a good, exciting game to watch. Wake ended their season how they’ve played it all year long losing by missing a ridiculous number of free throws and after sticking with other teams for most of the game letting them run away with it in the final five minutes. At least they’re consistent I guess.
I’m hopeful for next year. It will be Danny Manning’s third year as coach. We have some good, young players and it will be the first year he’ll be playing with a team that’s mostly his recruits. They may wind up disappointing me once again, but I’ll keep watching them anyway.
At least Wake isn’t as bad as poor Boston College. We stuck around for about 3/4 of the Boston College/Florida State game. Boston College hadn’t won a conference game all season, so I was rooting for them to at least get one. They sadly did not.
I wish the ACC tournament were in DC every year. It’s not on the docket again at this point, but I think it should be. It’s pretty central as far as all the teams in the conference go and now that Maryland is gone there’s no team that has any kind of home field advantage in these parts. I think I make a pretty strong case. It’s totally not based on selfish reasons at all.
Even though Wake lost I’m really glad I went to the tournament and got a chance to see them play in person once again.