ACC Tournament fever hits Greensboro

GREENSBORO, N.C. — The ACC Men’s Basketball Tournament geared up Thursday with fans pouring into Greensboro representing every team.

Cynthia Ward and her family cheered on the way into one game, “We’re here for the 60th anniversary of the ACC Tournament and we’re pulling for Carolina all the way!”

Will Privette is an NC State student who’s gained national attention recently, after he fell out of his wheelchair and was nearly trampled while storming the court at a game earlier in the season. Player CJ Leslie held Privette up until he could get back into his wheelchair.

FOX8 caught up with Privette and his mother on their way into the Tournament Thursday. “We hope it will be a good weekend. It’s my first ACC tournament so I’m pretty excited,” he said.

Privette said he has communicated with Lewis about the tournament.

“I texted him the other day and just said, ‘Hey let’s do big things!’ So hopefully we’ll do big things. We’re excited,” Privette said.

He also can’t rule out storming the court again this weekend.

“If we win on Sunday I might! We’ll see,” he laughed.

Henri Fourrier with the Greensboro Convention and Visitor’s Bureau explained, “We’re expecting about 20,000 people a day, flushing in about $22 million to the economy.”

Fourrier said one goal is to continue putting Greensboro on the map as a “Tournament Town.”

“We do it better here than anybody in the country,” he insisted. “The staff at the Coliseum knows what they’re doing, the facility is phenomenal. This is a Springboard for us to bid on other big events.”

Meanwhile, nearby hotels are booked up for the week. Brian Coleman, General Manager at The Biltmore Greensboro Hotel, said their phones are ringing off the hook.

“They’re calling for rooms. Everyone wants somewhere to stay. We even had one gentleman call and ask if we had a cot in the hallway he’d take it. He had waited until the last-minute. Can’t do that this week in Greensboro.”

Matt Brown with the Greensboro Coliseum Complex added, “You can come and enjoy the atmosphere both outside and inside the Fanfest, the Hall of Champions here. It’s a great place to be. Come and enjoy the spirit of the ACC whether you have a ticket or not!”