Luke DeCock

This tourney feels a bit odd

There’s always something a little odd about basketball in a dome, particularly one as empty as the Georgia Dome was to open things Thursday. But this year’s ACC Tournament feels a little odd in the media areas, too.

Not only are there approximately 200 fewer media members credentialed than last year, there are some people missing for the first time in decades.

N&O columnist Caulton Tudor isn’t here for the first time since 1972. Chip Alexander, who moved from the N.C. State beat to the Carolina Hurricanes beat at the N&O, isn’t here for the first time since 1987.

Down the road, former Durham Herald-Sun columnist Frank Dascenzo isn’t here for the first time in decades either, and there are many more from papers large and small that either don’t have the money to travel to Atlanta or have lost their jobs over the past year due to the general contraction in the newspaper business.

This is only my second ACC Tournament (2004, Greensboro) but even I can feel their absence.

On the plus side, this is a first-class work environment from our perspective — the wireless works and our cell phones get reception, which isn’t always the case.

On a completely different note, Dan Bickley of the Arizona Republic writes today about Doug Collins’ work with Herb Sendek at Arizona State, which includes this line:

“And you wonder why the student body loves him?”

Are we talking about the same Herb? On the other hand, this is the line that precedes it:

“Entering today’s Pac-10 Tournament, he’s beaten Arizona four consecutive times.”

Maybe if he’d been that fired up about beating State’s biggest rival, the fans would have loved him here.