ACC tournament final moving to Saturday night

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The ACC is moving its men’s basketball tournament championship game to Saturday night beginning next season.

The title game had been held the afternoon of Selection Sunday since 1982 but will now be played at 8:30 p.m. Saturday and televised by ESPN. The semifinals will be Friday night at 7 and 9 ET.

The previous 28 ACC tournaments through 1981 featured Saturday championship games, with all but one of them coming in prime time.

“This is kind of a ‘Back to the Future’ moment for our conference,” ACC Commissioner John Swofford said in a statement. “The Sunday championship game worked tremendously well for more than three decades, but I believe our schools, teams and our fans will be excited about crowning a champion on Saturday night. This will be a win-win for everyone involved — players, coaches, fans — and we greatly appreciate our television partners, ESPN and the ACC Network, working with us to make this happen.”

The NCAA selection committee also will appreciate the change, as it figures to reduce the number of last-minute adjustments to the NCAA tournament bracket based on Sunday-afternoon championship games.

The shift in the day for the final means the 15-team event will start on Tuesday rather than Wednesday.

The ACC tournament will be held in Greensboro, N.C., next spring before coming to Verizon Center in Washington, D.C., in 2016.

Barclays Center in Brooklyn will host it in 2017 and 2018, followed by Charlotte in 2019 and back to Greensboro in 2020.

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