GREENSBORO, N.C. – Irv Goldstein, 72, has been coming to the Atlantic Coast Conference Men’s Basketball Tournament for more than 30 years, missing only one or two tournaments in that time.
The senior vice chancellor for academic affairs at the University System of Maryland said he loves college basketball and still remembers the Terrapins’ victory over Duke in 2004, ending the Blue Devils’ streak of five consecutive ACC Tournament championships.
“It’s part basketball, but it’s also partly social,” Goldstein said of his tournament trips. He is a member of the Terrapin Club, an athletic booster club at the University of Maryland.
It’s part business, too. Goldstein said he was meeting with other university system officials throughout the day.
For other Marylanders, reasons for making the trek to Greensboro this weekend ran the gamut.
Larry Yalich, 55, of Kingsville, Md., said he thought the team was pretty lousy this year, but he was still managing to have a good time at the tournament.
“I come down to golf, to be honest,” Yalich said.
On Thursday, the Terps defeated the North Carolina State Wolfpack, 75-67, before a packed Greensboro Coliseum.
Jodi Yeager, a business owner from Bethesda, Md., said she has been coming to the ACC Tournament for about 15 years.
“The tournament is actually a break from our very hectic family lives,” said Yeager, who has four children.
In the end, though, it’s the basketball that keeps most coming.
“I think it’s something about the ACC Tournament,” said Michele Dombo, a business owner from Washington, D.C., who has traveled to the ACC Tournament each year since 2004. “There’s always some kind of upset.”
The No. 7-seeded Terrapins play against the No. 2-seeded Duke Blue Devils at 7 p.m. tonight, in the second round of the ACC Tournament.
–By Maryland Newsline’s Collin Berglund