Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Boston is now an ACC city...

... and it took a year longer than expected.

When the Atlantic Coast Conference decided to expand from 9 to 12 schools, I had no qualms with adding Miami and Virginia Tech. They were already in-state rivals for Florida State and Virginia. But inviting Boston College made no sense; it was in the heart of the Big East, and had no history with the closest ACC school, Maryland. (I would have preferred West Virginia or South Carolina.)

BC has done well in its first ACC season, finishing among the top 5 in football in the top 3 in men's basketball. But it still didn't feel like Beantown was part of the league. Until now.

Three ACC teams -- Maryland, Duke, and North Carolina -- join LSU in the women's Final Four. Suddenly this conference has stolen the spotlight in a sport dominated by the SEC and the Big East, and gets showcased this weekend in Big East territory. It's an early indicator of how strong a presence the ACC exerts along the East Coast.

A special mention goes out to that non-ACC team, LSU, which managed to double dip after all, placing both its men and women in the Final Four. While not exactly heroic a feat, it does give a very overcrowded Baton Rouge something to smile about.


bluedevilyn said...

I'm quite proud of the ACC's women's basketball teams. I know alot of people find the women's version boring, but personally, it's grown on me.

Definitely a congrats to LSU...I bet they put up a hell of a fight being the only non-ACC would imagine that might give them something to prove, not to mention having both the men & women make it to the FF.

I was actually wondering about your opinion on the Duke lacrosse scandal...then again, maybe it's nice not to read about it *somewhere.*

Neel Mehta said...

Good to see you share some of that love for the Duke women.

I'm kept myself half-aware about the lacrosse scandal, which would be better described as a rape allegation involving three perpetrators who may be on the lacrosse team. I think the focus should be on the crime rather than the sport.

I realize in this age of instant media there's an expectation to know everything now, but that's not the way the legal system works. If the lacrosse players are cooperating with the investigation, and I hope they are, they're doing it behind closed doors.

Personally, I suspect the allegations are true, and that this is going to permanently affect Duke athletics. The lacrosse program in particular, if retained, will be set back several years. As for the perpetrators and any surrounding conspiracy, I am in full support of whatever brings them down.