A final word on the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament's most valuable player award: Bruce Dalrymple, not teammate Mark Price, deserved it. Putting statistics aside -- and Dalrymple's were better -- Dalrymple made the plays that kept Georgia Tech alive against Duke and brought the Yellow Jackets back into the game against North Carolina today.

The problem is the system. The media sees the whole tournament, the coaches do not. In the end, usually only two coaches (the ones in the final) vote and sports information directors or assistants end up voting. The media should decide the MVP. The fact that Georgia Tech Coach Bobby Cremins and Smith voted for Dalrymple says it all.

"It was Bruce's tournament," teammate John Salley said. Almost everyone in the Omni agreed.

The all-tournament team, which is chosen by the media, was Price and Dalrymple, Brad Daugherty and Kenny Smith of North Carolina and Johnny Dawkins of Duke. The second team was Salley, Jay Bilas of Duke, Delaney Rudd of Wake Forest, Yvon Joseph of Tech and Spud Webb of N.C. State . . . The ACC tournament will be in Greensboro next year, at Capital Centre in 1987, Greensboro in 1988 and back here in 1989 . . . The quality of today's final was perhaps best summed up with 14 seconds left when referee Hank Nichols walked by the press table, looked down and said, "One hell of a game, isn't it?"

Cremins has talked so incessantly this season about Tech's program having "not arrived," that even his own people joke about it. After today's game, an assistant coach, Perry Clark, who played a major role in putting together this team, grabbed a friend and said, "In another year, we might be pretty good." Then he burst out laughing.