ACC moves basketball championship to Saturday night

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AMELIA ISLAND, Fla. — The ACC will move its basketball championship game to Saturday night starting next season, commissioner John Swofford announced at the league's spring meetings today.

The conference has held its title game on Sunday afternoon since 1982, but will now take a page from the old Big East and hold both its semifinals and finals in primetime.

The ACC Tournament semifinals will be Friday night at 7 and 9 p.m., and the championship game will be at 8:30 p.m. on ESPN.

“I think it’s a win-win all the way around,” Swofford said.

“Certainly having the primetime slot is something that I think will enhance what we believe has consistently been, for many, many years the best conference basketball tournament in the country.”

The change should make Pitt coaches, players and fans feel right at home. The format is similar to the one the Panthers played in in the Big East until 2012, and they won titles on Saturday night at Madison Square Garden in 2003 and 2008.

Swofford said former Big East members Louisville, Syracuse, Pitt and Notre Dame were “very positive” about the move to a Saturday night championship.

“Our coaches were very, very supportive of it, as were our athletic directors,” he said. “I think our fans will welcome it as well.”

Next year’s ACC Tournament is scheduled for Greensboro Coliseum, and Washington, D.C., in 2016. After that, the league will hold its tournament at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y., in 2017 and 2018.

Sam Werner: swerner@post-gazette.com and Twitter @SWernerPG.


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