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ACC Tournament: Greensboro deserves a Duke vs. North Carolina sendoff

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Semifinal Friday is a showcase of elite teams as Virginia and Notre Dame keep rolling, but Saturday's final needs to be about tradition

Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Getting it out of the way so it doesn't get buried ... Notre Dame and Virginia are damn good basketball teams, which is completely evident by their records, the eye test, and any form of statistical analysis, both tempo-based and tempo-free, that are available for use. Virginia is not boring to watch.

Notre Dame isn't lucky. Outside of the four hall of famers that the league boasts, Tony Bennett and Mike Brey are probably the next two in-line to carry the banner for the ACC moving forward. Justin Anderson is a star. Malcolm Brogden is a star. Jerian Grant is a star. Let's get that clear. Just understand that this column is not about you, just like the ACC final shouldn't be about you.

Greensboro is not a very pretty place. It's sprawling, the downtown area isn't convenient, nor is it vibrant. The Greensboro Coliseum is surrounded by cracked parking lots, rusted gates, one story houses and four-lane neighborhood roads. There's one restaurant within walking distance, and the closest bars are local secrets like Chili's and Hooter's. It's pretty much a town stuck in time, as evidenced by the scrolling digital billboard outside of Ham's scrolling through each ACC school alphabetically ... Duke, Florida State, Georgia Tech ... Maryland.

There are thousands of good reasons why the tournament is leaving its most stable home after this year, turning Greensboro into a one-off "throw them a bone" location like Tampa and Atlanta. There are also thousands of reasons why the tournament has called Greensboro home for 28 years, all of them outlined in today's Raleigh & Co. feature on the pride the Greensboro staff takes in putting on the event.

There's no argument to keep the tournament in Greensboro, and that's not the point here. The point is that the ACC Tournament, as those who love it the most know it, dies on Saturday. College basketball would benefit from a Duke vs. Virginia final, or even a North Carolina vs. Notre Dame final. But these people here deserve one final go like it used to be. Greensboro deserves a Duke/North Carolina send-off.