Observations from Tampa

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Internet
access is very limited at the hotel I’m in, but I was able to get a few minutes
this morning. I did not attend the Thursday sessions, but I did see all
four games Friday, and here are some things I have noted so far.

  • The crowd is decent, but not great. None of the sessions sold out,
    so the ACC is certainly not happy about that. On the local news Friday
    night, they made of note of the fact that tickets were still available
    at the box office for all sessions.
  • Attendance on Friday was about 80% of capacity (20,500). The lower
    sections were full, but there were lots of empty seats in the upper sections
    on each end.
  • The schools best represented here are UNC (no surprise), Maryland, Duke,
    and UVa. UVa has a good crowd here — probably twice the Hokie
    attendance. Maryland was the biggest surprise for me. Despite
    the early exit on Thursday, we saw a huge number of Maryland fans on
    Friday. The Hokies have a decent showing, as does NC State. BC
    is showing fairly well relative to their travel reputations. Wake had
    a pocket of fans that were noticeable in the stands. I didn’t see many
    GT fans. The biggest disappointment had to be FSU. They are the
    “local” school, but they were far outnumbered by UNC fans
    yesterday. There are very few Miami fans in town. In fact, the
    BC fans seemed to outnumber them for their game Friday.
  • As you might expect, the UVa contingent was none too happy with the way
    their game turned in the second half. Lots of controversial calls went
    NC State’s way. Most UVa fans stayed around and cheered for Wake
    against the Hokies, but then headed for the exits when Tech opened up the
    big lead in the second half. The Tech and UVa fans are on the same end
    of the court, separated only by a small section of Wake fans, so it made for
    some fun banter on that end of the arena.
  • Fan interaction among the schools is one of the unique things about the
    tournament. We’ve seen people wearing multiple colors. We’ve seen
    fans moving from one section to another (depending on who’s
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