GREENSBORO, N.C. (WGHP) — Basketball fans are making up for lost time.
The ACC Tournament is back in Greensboro. The last time it was here, things looked a lot different. Back in 2020, the tournament got cancelled because of the pandemic.
On Wednesday, people were glad to see things back to normal with no restrictions. More than 8,600 people attended the two afternoon games on Wednesday.
“I think people are excited to have it back in North Carolina,” said Nina Daye, who came from Hillsborough to see her team play. “This is really where it belongs.”
From tailgating, to grabbing a bite to eat from a food truck, to listening to live music performances, basketball fans from across the country were taking in all Tournament Town had to offer.
The parking lot full of vehicles and people on Wednesday was empty this time three years ago.
“I was still kind of…shocked at how quickly everything shut down and just how final it felt,” Daye said.
Daye was there as the Greensboro Coliseum hosted the only ACC Men’s Basketball Tournament to be canceled mid-way through.
“It was really kind of sad going home and being like ‘no game,'” Daye said. “No more tournament.”
Three years later, Daye and thousands of other ACC basketball fans have traveled to the Triad to make sure they don’t miss out again.
“Now, it’s finally back home in North Carolina in the Triad where it’s supposed to be, and here we are,” said Kevin Williams, who traveled from Virginia to watch his team. “We’ve made it.”
Some fans were first-time tournament goers.
“I’m excited to see Caleb Love and R.J. Davis and all of the players,” Halen Hedrick said.
Others often travel to see their team take the court.
“It’s a lot closer for us because it’s here in North Carolina, but we go wherever it is,” said one group of Tar Heel fans.
No matter who you were rooting for, it was all about the atmosphere.
“I grew up watching it on the TV,” Daye said. “I grew up in Fayetteville, and it was always the highlight. Watch and see what was going on, who was going to win because anybody can win this tournament.”
There are four games Thursday and two Friday leading up to the championship Saturday night.