The Atlantic Coast Conference announced Thursday it will expand its conference schedule from 16 to 18 games for men’s and women’s basketball beginning next season, but Virginia Tech Coach Seth Greenberg indicated the decision went against what the league’s coaches recommended.
Greenberg said he was “surprised” because the rest of the ACC men’s basketball coaches were hoping the conference would wait until Syracuse and Pittsburgh officially joined the league before going to an 18-game conference slate. Now, he added, the ACC will have to change its scheduling model a second time once it expands to 14 teams.
Ultimately, though, Greenberg said the ACC’s desire to sign a more lucrative television contract persuaded the conference to switch to an 18-game schedule right away.
“I’m sure there’s going to be a couple more zeroes at the end of it for each school,” he said.
There is still not a clear date for when Syracuse and Pittsburgh will be able to leave the Big East and join the ACC, but Greenberg said Thursday that when it does happen he is not in favor of the ACC splitting into divisions for basketball. He thinks two divisions would ultimately hurt the league come NCAA tournament time, and cited Alabama getting snubbed last season because it played in the easier SEC West as an example.
But Greenberg’s main concern is how the NCAA tournament selection committee will view the ACC’s new scheduling model.
“Really the question to me is if you’re going to play that many league games, how’s the [NCAA tournament] committee going to look at this,” Greenberg said. “Everything we hear is who do you choose to play. Well, if you play more league games . . . how is the committee going to look at your non-conference games?”
Greenberg said the Hokies already have non-conference home games with Oklahoma State, BYU and Rhode Island scheduled for next season. They’ll also likely play at North Carolina-Greensboro since the ACC tournament will return to the Greensboro Coliseum next year.
The coach added that the team would travel to an exempt tournament in addition to its annual matchup as part of the ACC-Big Ten Challenge. Other than that, Greenberg believes he needs the rest of his non-conference schedule “to develop some kind of an identity and rotation so you can learn about your team.”
Athletic Director Jim Weaver was in favor of going to an 18-game league schedule for next season, saying Thursday that “it’ll be more exciting for our fans to have two more conference games.”
Greenberg said an expanded conference schedule was something coaches viewed as inevitable once the ACC announced it would be adding Syracuse and Pittsburgh. The league hasn’t said exactly how the schedule will be implemented, but Greenberg indicated there are three or four models that have been discussed.