Recap of the ACC Women’s Tournament
With three of the nation’s top four women’s basketball teams coming to Greensboro for this year’s ACC Women’s Tournament, excitement was at an all time high as the Tournament got underway last Thursday morning. By late Sunday afternoon, the North Carolina Tar Heels had claimed the Tournament Title in what will surly be considered the most successful ACC Women’s Tournament ever.
Ivory Latta and Erlana Larkins each scored 26 points as the No. 1 Tar Heels beat No. 4 Maryland 91-80 in Sunday’s Championship Game. The Lady Terps were scrappy throughout but in the end Carolina proved to be just a little too much. The sell-out crowd of just over 11,000 was mostly partisan light blue and in the clutch, the Lady Heels seem to feed off that energy. Latta, the Tournament MVP, threw her game into overdrive in the second half, blowing past defenders and causing all sorts of problems for the Maryland defense.
The North Carolina/Maryland pairing wasn’t exactly the Sunday match-up many had in mind coming into the Tournament. A third Duke/Carolina game was put on hold when Maryland upset No. 2 Duke in Saturday’s second semifinal. UNC took care of the Wolfpack Women in the first game Saturday as, for the first time in Tournament history, the Semifinal round was also a sellout. All told, the league set another attendance mark for the entire Tournament and continues to enjoy unprecedented success since making Greensboro the Tournament’s steady home.
UNC and Maryland players filled out the All-Tournament First Team as Latta, Larkins and Camille Little from UNC and Marissa Coleman and Crystal Langhorne from Maryland were selected for their outstanding play.
A number of celebrities, both real and imagined, were on hand at the Coliseum throughout the Tournament’s four day run. Muggsy Bogues was spotted in the stands on Thursday, presumably doing some scouting work for Charlotte’s WNBA team. Former WFMY Sportscaster Mike Hogewood was seen arriving in the Media Parking Lot driving a Carolina Kia. “Hogy” was handling the halftime and pre/post game coverage for Fox Sports Net. A number of local media were also in the house. Greg Kerr from WFMY, Dave Goren from the Winston-Salem station and Fox 8’s Rich Brenner were seen floating between Press Row and the Media Food Spread set up down stairs. YES! Weekly writer/Jim Longworth cohort/George W. Bush detractor Ogi Overman was on the scene. Ogi should be applauded for his basketball coverage that appeared in last week’s YES!. It was a very well put together piece. Former East Carolina roundball standout Jim Modlin, who is now one of the area’s top sports journalists was also seen along press row. Jim’s sports can be heard during the Dusty Dunn radio program weekday mornings on WGOS-AM. The News and Record’s Ed Hardin was seen looking for a scoop near the entrance to the Media Lounge. While Ed’s columns don’t always make him a lot of friends, just ask New Orleans Hornets owner George Shinn, Hardin is a straight shooter who doesn’t mind stirring the pot from time to time. Many ACC and City of Greensboro officials were making their presence felt throughout the weekend with the most notable being the now slim and trim Wayne Butler. Wayne has always been a big man with a big heart to match. Its great to see Wayne looking so good.
With the Women’s Tournament in the books, now our focus can turn to the ACC Men’s Tournament which gets underway on Thursday afternoon here in the Gate City. Word has it that ticket books are currently being sold on ebay and at online ticket brokers for upwards of $500 a book. If that’s too rich for your blood, let GreensboroSports.com be your ticket to complete ACC Men’s Tournament Coverage. We’ll have correspondences on site all weekend long to bring you the kind of insight only GreensboroSports.com can. Check back to the site all week as our pre-Tournament coverage continues.