"The ACC had to regroup after that championship game," said Ray Meyer, coach of De Paul. "They thought, 'We better do something.' "

What the Atlantic Coast Conference did was become the first in the country to adopt both a shot clock and a three-point field goal. The reason was the championship game to which Meyer referred, that March 7, 1982, embarrassment in which North Carolina stalled away the second half to beat Virginia, 47-45, for the tournament title.

The ACC was the first. But since, 11 other conferences have gone to a shot clock and/or a three-point field goal to speed the game and increase scoring.

"Everyone else followed the ACC's lead, because they appeared to be progressive," said Ed Tapscott of American University. "The major impetus for the rule was the debacle between Virginia and North Carolina."

Maryland Coach Lefty Driesell had publicly pushed for such rules changes for several years, although he didn't appear to have much support from his conference colleagues.

But at a meeting of ACC coaches following the title game, at least one, Clemson's Bill Foster, indicated the conference should be embarrassed by the game and take preventive measures.

Driesell and Dean Smith, of North Carolina and four corners' fame, were firmly in favor.

Duke's Mike Krzyzewski was against a rules change, but he wanted the coaches to make a gentleman's agreement to not play stallball anymore. North Carolina State's Jim Valvano, who had heard considerable criticism of the conference, said he wanted the agreement in writing.

"There wasn't a whole lot of discussion when it came to a vote," said Driesell.

"They did it to give them an edge in recruiting and to give their conference an edge," said Hank Raymonds of Marquette. "I don't know any other reason they'd do it."

Said Tapscott: "I think the ACC was trying to salvage some prestige because of that championship game. They had to know that other coaches would tell prospective ACC recruits, 'You want to get to a championshp game and play 47-45 and take two shots the second half?' "

So the ACC made changes, and other conferences didn't want to be one-upped.

Gary Williams of Boston College said the fact that more games are being televised may have affected the decision to adopt new rules. "Some of these games have not been fun to watch, including the second half of the ACC championship," he said. "The result is that leagues are afraid of the image they portray, and more people can see that on television."