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A Modest Proposal

How the ACC can take leverage great teams and games - and fight for a major media market

An early season ACC event could be a slam dunk
An early season ACC event could be a slam dunk
Grant Halverson

Coach K is excited. He's really pumped about the ACC adding Syracuse, Pitt, Notre Dame and Syracuse, exulting that the conference has "struck gold."

Certainly true in TV terms, as Laura Keeley gets into for the N&O.

There is a bit of a conundrum though, and crassly, that's how to get the best teams on TV as often as possible.

As of now, the best ACC teams are likely to be Duke, UNC, Syracuse and Louisville, but obviously if you have them with home-and-homes, they'll just beat each other up and someone will end up with a lousy seed or missing the tournament field entirely.

Still, there are ways to draw attention. We'd like to start with killing off the ACC-Big Ten Challenge.

First of all, there's no need to reward Maryland's perfidy with an annual dose of ACC nostalgia. And second, the event can be replaced.

Call it the ACC Showdown.

It can be a preseason or holiday event. Pick a city - let's say DC - and invite the four best ACC teams.

Let them pair off and then switch opponents. The conference could even let fans participate by voting for the four teams and the subsequent matchups.

This would accomplish a few things. First, it would put an annual ACC presence in the Washington area, which would be really good.

Second, by placing it in a period of minimal national attention, the conference could really draw attention to itself. Third, it would obviously be a huge TV draw. And fourth, while these games wouldn't count in the ACC standings, they would be followed by rematches.

So let's say that in the first year the ACC (or fans) chose Duke, UNC, Louisville and Syracuse and let's further presuppose that Louisville is a permanent partner with Syracuse for scheduling purposes.

Therefore, each team would only play the teams it's normally scheduled to see just once.

Alternatively, the conference could invite four other national powers and call it the ACC Invitational.

Let's say Wichita State, Arizona, Michigan State and Georgetown. Then just schedule an eight team tournament and let the chips fall where they may.

We especially like the idea of holding an event like this in DC and inviting Georgetown, because that would place additional pressure on Maryland in the Terps' backyard.