FSU, BC, Clemson, UVa, Duke
By our count, Billy Packer has only worked one ACC basketball telecast this season. Love him or hate him, Packer is a big part of the fifty years of televised conference games that makes the ACC special. The former Wake Forest point guard has been a color commentator for ACC basketball telecasts since the 1972 when he teamed with the late Jim Thacker to form the legendary Thacker – Packer broadcast team for C. D. Chesley. Growing up in Winston-Salem, I can vividly recall the old ACC intro, a music piece fittingly called “Championship”, followed by “Hi, I’m Jim Thacker along with Billy Packer” and then the “Sail with the Pilot” intro music for Pilot Life Insurance. Back in those days, you knew it was a really big game when former Wake Forest coach Horace “Bones” McKinney joined Thacker and Packer on the ACC broadcasts. Somehow, the combination of Steve Martin and Jason Capel just don’t compare.
Time for Maryland coach Gary Williams to head to Vegas. By now, it’s old news that the Terp’s stunning upset of number one ranked Carolina was the seventh time a Gary Williams coached team has beaten the nation’s number one team. Did you know that since Williams’ arrival in College Park, the Terps have appeared in seven Sweet-Sixteens? Not only that, seven of Williams' former Maryland players have been picked in the first round of the NBA draft. That’s 7-7-7. Now this is just downright strange. A Maryland win against Duke combined with a Houston loss to Marshall will tie Gary Williams with Houston coach Tom Penders for seventh in wins among active Division I coaches with 597.
Who drew up this schedule?
My college degree is in Parks and Recreation Management (NCSU ’89), so I know a thing or two about drawing up schedules. Maybe it’s the obsessive compulsive in me, or my college training, but I like to see a bit of symmetry in athletic schedules. You know, true round-robins, alternating home and away games, a couple of days between games, etc. Whoever is in charge of drawing up the ACC Hoops schedule should seriously consider taking a sports scheduling class. For starters, four of Clemson’s five ACC games have been at Clemson. It’s nice to be at home, but now the Tigers will play five of the next seven on the road. During that span, Clemson will make two trips to the Triangle, and two trips to Florida. Ok, so you don’t mind the long road trips, how about quick turnarounds? Wake managed to get four home games in each half of the season, but they paid for it with two quick turnarounds. The Deac’s hosted FSU on Sunday afternoon and then traveled to Clemson for a Tuesday night game. Later in the season they will host Maryland on a Thursday-night and travel to Atlanta for a Saturday afternoon game. The one time that Duke has a quick turnaround, they have a Thursday home-game against NC State, followed by a Saturday home-game against Miami. I know TV drives a lot of the scheduling these days, but there need to be some rules in place to prevent these quick turnarounds unless both teams are playing on short rest. Even then, the home-team is always going to have a big advantage.
What seven number one teams Gary Williams has beaten as a head coach?
Which seven Williams-coached Maryland teams made it to the Sweet-Sixteen?
Who are the nine first round draft picks that Gary Williams has coached?
Seven played for Williams at Matyland.
Who was the play-by-play team for C. D. Chesley’s first live weekly ACC Telecast in 1957?