The last minute decision for me to go began forming Sunday night after Louisville lost on Senior Day, but was guaranteed the 4-seed and the double bye. I approached the idea to Paul that evening (who was not going this year) and told him I would sleep on it and by Monday morning we had the ball rolling. Both Louisville and the ACC were happy to provide a credential for me and work had no problem letting me off for a couple days.
My only other time going to the ACC Tournament was the first year Louisville was in it and I was with the pep band at the time. The Cards fell to Florida State in the semifinal that year.
We arrived in Greensboro about 3:30 p.m. on Thursday, which was enough time to get in a short nap. We went over to a UofL Alumni party in the downtown area where I had the pleasure of meeting some donors as well as getting a chance to socialize with some of the administration and coaches.
I left the party early enough to catch the final game of the Thursday night session- Boston College vs Miami. It was a good opportunity to test out the lighting and camera settings inside the arena. Believe it or not, the lighting is actually better inside the Greensboro Coliseum following their upgrades made in the last year. Miami came out on top in that game.
Friday morning was an early one as the Cards had an 11:00 a.m. tip-off and the team sendoff party at the hotel was scheduled for 8:30 a.m. Finally, time for the real reason I traveled to Greensboro- to photograph Louisville women's basketball. The Cards came to play and had a dominating first quarter before cruising to a 26-point win. I stuck around to photograph the second game, where we saw NC State top Syracuse, before going back to the hotel for a quick nap. I made it back to the arena for the final two games of the night, a Duke victory over North Carolina in a tight one and then a Virginia Tech blowout over Miami.
Saturday wasn't quite as early with a noon tip and a 10:00 a.m. team sendoff. Still plenty of time to grab some media food before the game, of course. The Cards squared off against 1-seed Notre Dame. This one started off in Louisville's favor and they ran with it. Louisville came away with their second straight 26-point win of the tournament and got their revenge against the Irish. The most surprising part of it was that Muffet McGraw had something nice to say about the Cards on tv. I stuck around and photographed Virginia Tech take down Duke in the other semifinal before grabbing Cookout on the way back to the hotel.
Sunday morning was time to pack up the car. I had to get to the arena earlier than normal for a mandatory photographers meeting for anyone photographing the championship. I still had plenty of time to get down to the court to see the teams warming up. While I got bumped to the second row of photographers in the first half thanks to a bunch of local media showing up and getting priority, I did manage to snag a front row spot in the second half. Unfortunately, even though the Cards battled back, they fell a tad short at the end.
Following the conclusion of the game, I rushed back to pack my equipment and to get to my car before everyone began exiting the arena. From there, it was a long drive home that saw me getting home right at 10:30 p.m
Talk about an adventurous and busy weekend. I put plenty of miles on my car while photographing eight different games in the ACC Tournament. I would like to thank all of my fellow members here at Cardinal Couple for letting me go down and represent them at the ACC Tournament. Thank you to UofL and the ACC for the photo credential. And of course, thank you to all of those who read and interact with us on here for letting me share my photos and my experiences down there.
We still have the NCAA Tournament to go, so plenty of basketball left. We also still have our spring sports going on. I will spending plenty of time at Ulmer Stadium and the Louisville Lacrosse Stadium over the next few weeks.
Happy Tuesday and Go Cards!