On the whole, Jim Boeheim probably would have rather been at Madison Square Garden. Then again, playing and losing at Barclays Center beat having to go to Greensboro, N.C., in the Syracuse coach’s opinion.
After his team was eliminated on Wednesday from the first Brooklyn-based Atlantic Coast Conference tournament, 62-57 by Miami, Boeheim was a bit philosophical, a tad nostalgic and a good measure feisty when he spoke of the city that often has hosted the ACC championship.
“There’s no value, playing in Greensboro. None,” he said. “(The tournament) is there because the league has been there and the office is there and they have 150 people that the ACC needs. That’s why it’s there. It should not be there.”
Boeheim, approaching the end of a legendary career, also said there is something to be gained by appearing in major cities that have plenty of potential recruits. He added, rhetorically, “How many players do they have in Greensboro?”
When he was asked if Wednesday summoned memories of many heady, frenzied Big East tournaments in Manhattan, Boeheim said, “It’s a little different. The Garden is different . . . Madison Square Garden made the Big East Conference.
“I just think New York City is a great venue for our tournament. I’m not going to be around much longer to care about it, but I think that’s where the value is. Obviously, we get some fans here. It doesn’t matter in terms of who wins.”
His comments did matter enough in Greensboro for Mayor Nancy Vaughan to release a statement saying, “Unfortunately for Syracuse they didn’t stay around long enough to experience the Greensboro value. We know that we have one of the best basketball venues in the country. The best fans. The best value. The best tournament. Greensboro has raised the bar for all other venues.”