Playing the opening ACC tournament game at 11 a.m. has created some unusual preparation problems for Wake Forest and Clemson, not accustomed to such an early start.
"I don't usually get up by then, much less play then," said Wake's Frank Johnson.
Clemson Coach Bill Foster has bedded his players at 11 p.m. and rousted them at 7 a.m. on recent mornings to get them into the routine they will face today. Wake's Carl Tracy has tried to practice as close to 11 a.m. as possible. Both coaches will go much lighter on their pregame meals.
Clemson's Foster got his first taste of Home Box Office in his hotel room Wednesday night. "We sure haven't got anything like that in South Carolina," he said. "It was like the raunchiest stuff I've ever seen. my two daughters are coming up here tonight and I'm going to have to get the TV sets ripped out of their rooms."
Duke's coach, Mike Ktzyzewski, on why he's never changed his unpronounceable name: "I get more ink from my name than anything I ever say, so why change it?"
Krzyzewski, playing the 9:30 p.m. game, worked his team hard yesterday. "I ran them so they would be tired," he said. "I wanted them to sleep this afternoon, then stay up late tonight. That's kind of opposite from the problem I usually have."
North Carolina's Dean Smith has won the ACC tournament title seven times. Virginia's Terry Holland has won it once. No other coach in the league has won it. Maryland's Lefty Driesell has been in four finals and has an overall record of 11-11 in tournament play. Holland, who won in 1976 and was second in 1977, is 5-5. The Cavaliers have lost in the first round the last three years. Foster is 3-5 and Tech's Dwane Morrison, whose resignation becomes effective after the tournament, is 0-1. Krzyzewski and N.C. State's Jim Valvano are in their first tournaments.
Wake's Tracy on the future of the ACC tournament as the NCAA continues to expand, making this less important each year. "It won't matter," he said. "They'll always play this. The fans never let it go."