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Annual “Operation Basketball” Accentuates Achievement, Growth
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Media in attendance at the Atlantic Coast Conference’s annual “Operation Basketball” were prepared to meet coaching legends and expound on high-level programs. But as ACC Commissioner John Swofford noted during his remarks at Wednesday’s event, the collective level of achievement of the now 15-member league is unsurpassed.
“This year we welcome coaches Mike Brey of Notre Dame, Jamie Dixon of Pitt and Jim Boeheim of Syracuse,” Swofford noted. “Obviously, none of them are strangers to college basketball success, and when you combine the accomplishments of all 15 league coaches the accolades are staggering and more than any other collection of conference coaches.”
Among the collective achievements of the ACC current men’s basketball head coaches:
The ACC’s current group has also recorded:
Eleven current ACC coaches have made at least one NCAA “Sweet 16” appearances, and six have appeared in an NCAA Regional Final.
“When you look at the winningest programs in NCAA Division I history, it’s not surprising how many of the most successful programs hail from the ACC - three of the top five, four of the top 10 and five of the top 25,” Swofford said. “I’d also like to take the opportunity to acknowledge that three of the five active Division I coaches in the Naismith Hall of Fame are at the helm of ACC programs in Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski, North Carolina’s Roy Williams and Syracuse’s Jim Boeheim.
“As many (media) and our coaches have indicated, this may be the strongest collection of basketball programs ever assembled in one conference.”
Numbers off the court look very strong for the ACC as well.
“Just within our footprint, the ACC will have the most television households and highest population of any conference nationally,” Swofford said. “It is also projected that by 2030, 55 percent of the U.S. population will lie within the Northeast and Southern states – prime ACC territory. The combination of our marketplace opportunities, along with the population numbers both current and projected, give the ACC enormous potential in both the near and distant future.”
Swofford said the conference is still exploring the viability of an ACC Channel when it comes to the broadcast and distribution of future ACC events.
“We continue to work through the process of strategically evaluating whether (such a channel) makes sense for our league,” Swofford said. “The discussions with ESPN are ongoing, and our focus of making sure ACC content continues to be available anytime, anyplace and anywhere remains a priority.”
That is especially evident in terms of ACC basketball, where fans will have access to more television broadcasts involving league teams than ever before.
“As has been the case in recent years, we are extremely pleased and excited that every ACC controlled basketball game will be available to our fans nationwide on one platform or another,” Swofford said. “Through our relationship with ESPN, we have the ability to maximize the platforms for every fan to see ACC basketball. From traditional television to progressive digital and mobile platforms like ESPN3 and Watch ESPN, ACC content is truly available everywhere.
In addition to ESPN, the ACC Network through Raycom continues to be broader than ever before, with a reach of over 68 million households and no geographic parameters on the distribution. The ACC Network is also now in 16 of the top 20 major markets including New York, LA, Chicago, Philly, Seattle, Phoenix, Minneapolis, Denver, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Indy, Kansas City and Salt Lake City. The ACC App and ACC Vault continue to flourish while the ACC Digital Network has made monumental strides since launching in October of 2011.
“In the last two years, the ACCDN has experienced exponential growth distributing programming and highlights to millions of digital consumers,” Swofford said. “The ACCDN distribution portfolio includes the industry leaders in Yahoo, USA Today Media Group, YouTube, Roku, MobiTV, Synacor, Sony Bravia and hundreds of blogs and local media websites. Following the regular season, the 2014 ACC Basketball Tournament will be televised nationally by ESPN as well as on all of our syndicated ACC Network stations and there will once again be no black-outs on either platform. The upcoming regular season will provide our fans with ACC Basketball appointment viewing.”
While ACC fans and media gear up for what should be a historic basketball season, Swofford also touched on the success of ACC football and Olympic sports teams this fall.
“In football, this season marks the first time in league history that three teams have started the season 5-0 or better, and the ACC is the only league to have three undefeated teams remaining,” Swofford pointed out. “Our Olympic sports have seen plenty of success as well. The ACC currently features 37 ranked teams, including 18 that are in the top 10. Seven different squads have held a No. 1 ranking so far this fall, and our teams have combined to win 78 percent of their competitions against other conferences.”