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Jay Bilas says ACC needs to pursue Madison Square Garden, not Barclays Center

Hard to disagree with the man.

USA Today

For the first time ever, the ACC Tournament will be held in New York City.

The only issue is it’s being held at the second-best arena — Brooklyn’s Barclays Center — not Madison Square Garden.

“I think Madison Square Garden would be the perfect place for the ACC Tournament permanently,” ESPN’s Jay Bilas told the Providence Journal. “I know the old guard in North Carolina will scream tradition, tradition. Things change. If we’re going to have 16 teams and be this behemoth of a conference, the big stage is in New York.”

There’s just one major problem with this theory: the Big East is set to celebrate its 35th anniversary of holding its league tournament at The Garden, and the two sides have a contract through 2026. And there’s no signs of slowing down, even if the league isn’t what it used to be.

Brooklyn will host next year’s ACC Tournament before it heads to Charlotte in 2019 and Greensboro in 2020.

“The smart thing to do is one spot,” Bilas continued. “Giving everyone a turn doesn’t make any sense. I think keeping the Final Four in one spot is the way to go... Indianapolis is a great city for the Final Four. You can walk everywhere. Having a home base for that is fantastic.”

I don’t necessarily agree with Bilas from a Final Four having a base location, but I do agree on the conference tournament. Put it in the biggest city, under the brightest lights and the league can watch the money pour on in.

“I never thought the Big East Tournament would be better than the ACC’s,” Bilas said, “but it was.”

I, among just about everyone, would love to see the ACC Tournament held in MSG. But it just doesn’t seem likely in the near future.

Unless the ACC is willing to pay a ridiculous amount of money to buy out the Big East’s contract with MSG, it won’t happen (and even then, it’s the only thing linking this Big East to the old one’s tradition). You better believe the Big East will want to extend that contract as soon as possible, especially with the ACC (and Big Ten) looming.