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ACC won’t begin men’s basketball season with conference games, per report

NCAA Basketball: Pittsburgh at N.C. State Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

In what was foremost an effort to drum up interest in the ACC’s new linear network, the league decided that the 2019-20 men’s basketball season would begin with a conference game. This was not a popular idea among the ACC’s head coaches, Kevin Keatts included.

So it’s not terribly surprising that particular made-for-TV scheduling quirk won’t be repeated this November. Jon Rothstein reported this week that ACC coaches can rest easy, as their seasons will not begin with the unwelcome challenge of a league game.

The linear network is well-established now, which removes a lot of the impetus, and I’m sure the bellyaching didn’t hurt either. I kinda liked the early-season event aspect of it, but for all I know NC State would just end up playing Georgia Tech again, and I do know how that would end.

As the ACC continues to balance the post-new-year calendar as best it can while working with these more robust 20-game slates, I’m guessing the league will give everybody two conference games in December this year, rather than just one. But at least that allows everybody to get in the cupcakes they want first.