North Carolina-1954 ACC Tournament-March 11


North Carolina People, Places, and Things-March 11

I am the dad to five adult children. As they were growing up I attempted to remind them they were special and to implore them to learn something new. My goal was to do that daily.

In 2016 my goal is to learn something new daily on the people, places, and things that make North Carolina special.

This week the Atlantic Coast Men’s Basketball Tournament is being played in Washington DC. The conference footprint has expanded and the ACC which was at the heart and soul of North Carolina each March has lost some of its luster.

The first ACC tournament was played in Raleigh, NC inside Reynolds Coliseum.

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The ACC Tournament began in 1954, one year after the ACC was formed. The inaugural championship was won by N.C. State, which beat Wake Forest, 82-80. N.C. State went on to win the next two titles, as well, and began to cement the state of North Carolina’s hold on the title.

That continued during the next decade, as Duke and North Carolina each won the title four times between 1957 and 1970 — North Carolina’s 1957 win punctuated with an NCAA Tournament title, as well. Wake Forest also won two championships during that time, N.C. State won one, and Maryland — the only school outside of N.C. to win in the tournament’s first 17 years — won in 1958.

Even though Wake Forest lost the first ACC Championship in 1954 the Demon Deacon’s Dickie Hamrick was voted MVP. NC State won three games as the #4 seed by a combined 7 points. Ironically all three of NC State’s wins came over North Carolina teams (UNC-Duke-Wake Forest).

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