BROOKLYN - The parking garage should normally cost about eight dollars for four hours. Driving in, there was a notice of an event charge. Those over 90 minutes on Tuesday would pay the event rate of $55. Welcome to New York.
On this afternoon, who would complain? While tournaments are being staged throughout the country, there is something special about being in New York. From the hustle and bustle of the busy city streets to the pretzels sold by street corner eateries, New York is unique. Having the Atlantic Coast Conference stage its annual postseason get-together in Brooklyn was enough to quicken the pulse on a gray overcast Tuesday. Barclays Center would host three first-round games on this afternoon.
The noon game had an interesting sidebar, as virtually all ACC games do. NC State’s Mark Gottfried was coaching his last game after the Wolfpack administration decided to make a coaching move effective at the end of the season. You could debate the unfairness of it all, but the simple fact remained that there was a game to play. NC State started slow and never really recovered. Too many turnovers, not enough rebounds. Gottfried coached and the players competed, but in the end, Clemson advanced with a 75-61 victory.
In somewhat of an irony, Clemson utilized a saying coined by the late former NC State mentor Jim Valvano: Survive and advance. Clemson, at 17-14, did that to keep their faint NCAA Tournament hopes alive. On the other end, Gottfried could look back with reflective peace of mind on what he did during his six-year tenure at NC State. As it has been said, March can be the cruelest month.
Game day at the ACC Men's Basketball Championship:
Barclays Center elevators even donned the company line, displaying the ACC Tournament logo:
NC State's cheerleading team, depicted here in pregame routine:
A concession stand hawking potent potables, waiting for patrons:
Mark Gottfried, alone in his thoughts on the NC State bench:
Pictured here: Ray with 1983 national championship hero and NC State legend Dereck Whittenburg:
Clemson running out the clock on an opening-round win:
Clearing the floor before Wake Forest and Boston College tip off: