GREENSBORO, NC (WDBJ7) - The Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament starts Tuesday, and the Virginia Tech Hokies will face North Carolina just after 7 p.m. in Greensboro.
The game will be a series of firsts for most of the Hokies, including the head coach.
Monday was practice day in Greensboro ahead of the ACC Tournament. The Hokies worked out at the coliseum for about an hour. Mike Young is set to make his ACC Tournament debut as a head caoch, but he does have some pretty vivid memories of the tournament growing up as a kid.
"I remember at Kuhn Barnette Elementary School, some of the teachers, even the harshest and toughest teachers, would roll that television in on Thursday and we would watch those quarterfinal games and that was the ultimate," Young said. "Now to come here with our Virginia Tech team and coach in this thing and be a small part of this thing, it's gratifying and a thrill to be here. It's the ultimate conference tournament, the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament, and add to that, we're here in Greensboro, the heart of Tobacco Road. That's pretty special."
Coach Young isn't the only one getting his first up close and personal taste of the tournament. 12 of the 15 players on the Tech roster have never played in a tournament game.
Tech freshman guard Jalen Cone said, "It means everything to be here playing. I used to come to the ACC Tournament and watch every time it was held here and sometimes when I didn't get a ticket in, we'd be outside in the parking lot watching the buses pull up and seeing the players getting out. So just to be here playing is a blessing."
Tech sophomore forward Isaiah Wilkins said, "It's definitely something that I think you have to cherish. I know last year I cherished every moment of playing on that Sweet 16 team and talking to them, they're ready go."
The ACC handed out its postseason awards Monday. Tech's Landers Nolley was named to the All Freshman Team and as for UVA, Mamadi Diakite was an All ACC Second Team selection and a member of the All Defensive Team. His teammate, Kihei Clark, was a Third Team pick.
Also Monday, FSU's Leonard Hamilton was named Coach of the Year while Duke's Tre Jones grabbed Player of the Year honors.
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