Montrezl Shatters 2nd Backboard of The Summer

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(Photo courtesy @TonyPhotos)

We all watched last season as Montrezl Harrell dunked his way into the Louisville record books and became the single season record holder. It’s been a while since we’ve seen a player go to the basket so aggressively and I enjoyed every minute of it. Montrezl rocked the rims all over gyms in the American Conference last season and this summer he’s been shattering backboards all over the country.

Back on April 28th he was back in his home state of North Carolina working out and playing a pick-up game at the HCC Hawks home court when he destroyed his first back board of the summer.

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Just moments ago it was tweeted out by a Cardinal fan in Northern Kentucky @nkucardsman and @TonyPhotos that Montrezl had demolished his second backboard of the summer at a league game at woodward high school in Cincinnati.

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I really hope the athletic directors of the ACC are taking notice and securing their backboards accordingly. All I can say is be very afraid college basketball… Be very afraid. Montrezl Harrell will soon be dunking at a gym near you.

Louisville Football Players Go To Summer Camp

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On Wednesday members of the Louisville football team spent some time at Indian Summer Camp. Indian Summer Camps are programs that are designed to help children with cancer and their families have enjoyable, positive experiences, create valuable memories and enhance their quality of life both as individuals and families.

At Indian Summer Camp, children can build friendships with others who understand their circumstances. They gain confidence and build self reliance. They provide amazing experiences so they can have fun being normal kids again. The main concept of these camps is “FUN”. After all, that’s what being a kid is all about! The Louisville Football players spent the day participating in activities, eating lunch and sharing special time with these kids.

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Kudos to the Louisville Cardinal student athletes for taking the time to make these kids and their families day a little brighter. Another win in the game of life and that game matters the most.

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(Photos Courtesy @UofLFootball)

The Man, The Myth, The Legend & Now The Bottle

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I met Tom Jurich for the first time at a Cardinal Caravan event four years ago at the fairgrounds in Shelby County. I walked up and introduced myself and he treated me like he had known me for years. Every interaction since has been the same way. Sure Mr Jurich has transformed the Louisville athletic program into a juggernaut, and he is probably the best athletic director in the country, but it is how he treats people that makes me appreciate him the most. And if you’ve ever had a chance to talk to him for just a minute you understand what I’m talking about. And I don’t doubt for a minute that his ability to communicate has led him to the success he’s had.

His recent success and hard work at landing the University of Louisville a spot at the ACC table could very well end up being one of his biggest accomplishments. For years Louisville has been gaining momentum with top coaches, new football stadium, new basketball arena, new corporate partners but all of that means less without a platform to showcase it. “All dressed up and nowhere to go” would best describe Louisville’s past 5 or 6 years. But that all changed on July 1st when the Cardinals joined the ACC. Talk about a platform.

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Here at the University of Louisville they don’t put you on a Makers Mark bottle for useless hype. Here it means that you have done great things and that you have etched your name forever in Cardinal lore. What Tom Jurich has built at the University of Louisville will be enjoyed by many generations to come. His legacy and now his Makers Mark bottle will last forever. Unless we win a National Championship in Football then I’m drinking mine.

8500 of these Tom Jurich commemorative Maker’s Mark bottles will go on sale on retail store shelves Friday, July 25. And you will also want to get a ticket for a special signing event to be held next month. You don’t want to miss your chance to have a moment to say hello to Tom Jurich and to thank him for his contributions to our beloved Cardinals. Beginning at 10 a.m. on July 30, 700 tickets for the autograph session will go on sale for $1 each at this link: get them here!

Here is the press conference from this morning:

Luke Hancock Still Shooting For The Stars

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(Photo NBAE/Getty Images Jack Arent)


Luke Hancock has went from no ranking and not even being on the radar in high school, to being one of the main contributors on the National Champion Louisville basketball team, and the NCAA tournament’s most outstanding player in 2013. He is now making contributions to the Houston Rockets Summer team and will play for the NBA Summer League championship tonight. Luke is a basketball player that has a great story and one that is sure to have a happy ending.

Luke Hancock wasn’t a highly touted recruit when he came out of Hidden Valley, where he made the All-Timesland second team and helped the Titans reach the Group AA semifinals. And he didn’t have the big boys beating down his doors after his postgraduate year at Hargrave Military Academy where he helped them become national prep school runners-up and earned a spot on the all-tournament team. He was viewed as a low to mid major prospect.

Hancock received a rating of zero stars and received only two scholarship offers to play ball one from Toledo and one from George Mason. However, that didn’t get Luke down and he never stopped believing that he belonged. He wasn’t a small guy at 6’8″ yet he lacked superior strength and wasn’t a physically gifted athlete. The one thing he could do was shoot. At George Mason, he shot his way to the CAA all-rookie team as a freshman. He averaged 10.9 points and made All-CAA third team as sophomore, and he made the winning shot against Villanova in NCAAs.

Through two seasons at George Mason Luke Hancock kept his vision and focused on his goals and the basket. After that huge shot in the Tournament and after his very efficient two seasons where he helped make George Mason a consistent winner one person took notice. That person was Rick Pitino. Coach Pitino was looking for a great shooter and passer for his high-octane offense to compliment a great group of guys he figured on having in 2012-13.

Finally Luke would get the affirmation that had been absent for his career up to this moment. Schools that turned him down for scholarships before were now competing for his attention. That affirmation and the opportunity were too much to pass up and Luke chose to transfer to Louisville where Kevin Keatts, Hancock’s coach from Hargrave, was now working.

After battling through long odds and years of doubt, Luke Hancock’s basketball career was finally in good balance. With two strong years of college basketball behind him, Luke’s road should have been easy. Stay in shape, then work his way into the lineup once eligible to play for Louisville. What could go wrong? Having a history of injury problems Luke suffered quite a blow in a pick-up game before the 12-13 season, injuring his shoulder severely enough to require surgery.

According to coach Pitino, the injury was so bad he was not sure Hancock would recover in time for the season and the doctor said it was the worst shoulder he ever operated on. It would take him over a half hour of warm-ups just to lift his arms up over his head but he did maintain his balance getting things pointed in the right direction again. He was in the lineup for the first game of the season not just as a member of the Cardinals, but as a junior co-captain.

When Luke Hancock did make his way onto the court in the early part of the 12-13 season it wasn’t pretty. Cardinal Nation was comparing Hancock’s hype to that of Mike Marra and calling for coach Pitino to keep him off the floor. The theme of those calling into the local radio shows after he went 4-for-29 on three-pointers through Louisville’s first four games was that of dismay. Luke did not let the dissatisfaction affect him. He chose to stay confident, remained positive, kept playing his game and eventually found his form, as he ended up leading the team with a .432 three-pointer percentage.

And as for his role as the captain. The Louisville basketball team faced a very difficult moment during their Elite 8 game of the 2013 NCAA Tournament when one of their brothers Kevin Ware suffered a gruesome injury. When the other players, coaches, and trainers appeared to be in a moment of shock Luke Hancock remained calm, kneeled down, and grabbed the hand of his fallen comrade. Luke was able to calm Kevin with a prayer. And by doing so enabled Kevin to inspire his team to eventually beat Duke and go to the Final Four.

Luke Hancock’s confidence, vision, focus, balance, and adjustments led him and the Cardinals to a national championship. He was also named the most outstanding player along the way. Luke played in all 40 games during the 2013 season, knocked down a team-best 63 3-pointers, and totaled 40 steals. In the national championship victory over Michigan, Hancock totaled 22 points and two steals, going 5-of-5 from beyond the arc.

His senior season with the Cardinals would also started out with some adversity and he battled a achilles injury that held him back through the first part of the schedule. But just like in previous seasons Luke recovered was a key contributor during the Cardinal’s surge to the Sweet 16. He was the third leading scorer on the team averaging 11.8 points a game and was the best free throw shooter at 86%.

I haven’t mentioned in this story about how Luke Hancock’s father was battling cancer along his journey. I didn’t mention it because Luke never mentioned it. It wasn’t until after the Final 4 during the 2013 season that most of us learned of his father’s illness. Luke’s father lost his battle, but did get to see his son take the lessons he had taught him and apply them to a game. He got to see his son be great. And even with the end of his life near continued to push Luke towards his game and the pursuit of greatness. With his father, gravely ill Luke went to try out for the USA Basketball Men’s Junior National Team. Luke did what he has his whole basketball career and rose above his adversity to make the 12-man roster. Another great accomplishment for this young man from Roanoke, Virginia.

Luke Hancock has started back at square one with his latest challenge to become an NBA player. Again he faces long odds and a lot of adversity and again people are doubting that he has a chance to make an NBA roster. He started out playing in the NBA Summer League with the Orlando Magic and due to a pretty stacked roster didn’t get much of an opportunity for playing time. But he finally got his moment playing with the Houston Rockets in Las Vegas.

Luke really has made the most of his opportunity to play with the Houston Rockets in the NBA Summer League. He logged 80 minutes of playing time, scored 36 points, grabbed 15 rebounds, dished out 5 assist, snatched 3 steals and 1 blocked shot in 7 games.

And Luke isn’t done yet as he remains the last Cardinal standing in the Summer League. He helped the Rockets reach the Championship game tonight at 9:00pm with a 9 point, 6 rebound, 1 steal performance in the Semi-Finals. The Championship game of the NBA Summer League can be seen on the NBA Network.

I don’t know if he will make a roster after this summer but I’m very proud of Luke for his effort. Against all odds he is still fighting to reach his dreams.

Louisville Basketball Players Support Local Gunshot Victim

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I love watching our Cardinal athletes achieve greatness on the court, on the field, and in the classroom. But nothing compares to those moments when our student athletes step outside those roles and become ambassadors, community leaders and supporters to those who have had misfortune in their lives.

Gun violence is a big issue and a growing problem for most cities in the United States. Louisville is no stranger to that problem and according to Louisville Metro Police statistics, 197 people were hit in Metro Louisville with gunfire in 2013. Kids are especially the innocent victims in these crimes and some of them are surrounded by this violence everyday.

Christopher 2x is a community activist in the city of Louisville and he along with other community leaders like rapper Master P have launched peace keeping campaigns and events to help stop the gun violence, to support those who have been victims of these crimes, and to help inner city children achieve their goals.

These events in 2014 are held to bring victims of gun violence together to create a sense of hope and to assure that they get the support they need to help them overcome the tragedy they’ve been involved in.

Four members of the Louisville Basketball Team were on hand at one of the events this past weekend called “Let the kids grow”. The program called “Let the Kids Grow” helps teach kids leadership through athletics education. Terry Rozier, Anton Gill, Akoy Agau, and Mango Mathiang were there to support a gun shot victim named Darryl, and other kids who have been affected by violent crimes. They are pictured above with this young man. It is awesome to see these guys get out and involved in such a great cause.

H/T to Jonathan Blue for tweeting out this earlier today.

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Coach Pitino Talks 2014-15 Cards

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We have a very exciting football season to watch before they officially roll out the round ball. But around these parts it’s considered basketball season all year long. That’s why it was great to hear from the head man himself today. Coach Pitino gave us an update on the progress of his team and seems very excited about the guys coming back and the new guys coming in.

You can hear what coach Pitino had to say about the 2014-15 Cards today at his press conference:

Coach Pitino Talks “Pelican Russ”

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All of Cardinal Nation was very happy when Russ Smith was drafted in last month’s NBA Draft. We have all been on an incredible journey with this young man and have watched him go from a kid who struggled to get offers out of high school to the outstanding player he is today.

Coach Pitino said today during his press conference that he had a heart to heart with Russ about his NBA Draft and also said that Russ had reached a deal with the Pelicans. Coach Pitino says that Smith will be able to live up to everything the Pelicans expect, which mostly involves around his quickness, ability to defend and handle the ball as a playmaker. And Coach Pitino says that he can’t wait to see Russ play.

Russ will get his first opportunity to showcase his skills on Friday when the Pelicans open summer league play in Las Vegas at 9:30 p.m. against a NBA Development League team. Louisville fans will be able to see “Pelican Russ” in action when New Orleans plays an exhibition game against the Miami Heat at the KFC Yum Center on Oct. 4.


Here’s what Coach Pitino said about Russ today:

Louisville Basketball Recruiting: July Evaluation Period

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College basketball recruiting is the main event of the summer. Fans go crazy for the latest buzz on recruits considering their school. College sports fans go through withdrawal type symptoms during the summer months. After the NBA draft there is not anything to look forward to until college football starts. The summer really is a dead time for college sports fans. However, starting in July they can get their fix as college basketball recruits from around the country compete in AAU tournaments.

In July there are three five-day segments spread out over three weeks where coaches are going all over the country trying to see as many recruits as possible. But it’s not just coaches who are watching the recruits. Different scouts from various online sources log thousands of miles every year going to watch high school kids evaluating them, ranking them, and following them through their recruiting process.

This is something the average basketball fan cannot do. But the sports hungry college basketball fans thirst for the information. And some pay big money for it. With the combination of social media and the internet, there is all kinds of information available. I will provide updates on all of The Cardinal’s Beak social media accounts and the Recruiting page.

Coach Pitino and his assistants will be out working hard over the next few weeks beginning at 5 o’clock on Wednesday. They’ll be making their rounds all over the country during this July evaluation period checking out more than 20 guys in the 2015 and around 20 in the 2016 class.

Top Names for 2015:

Antonio Blakeney
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Kelly Kline/Under Armour

Deng Adel
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Bryant Crawford
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Photo by Ken Rutt

Ray Smith
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Photo 247Sports

Dwayne Bacon
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Other names to watch:
Isaiah Briscoe
Allonzo Trier
Brandon Ingram
Derrick Jones
Nick Blair
Stephen Zimmerman
Carlton Bragg
Raymond Spalding
Horace Spencer
Tyler Dorsey
Cheick Diallo
Jaylen Brown
Doral Moore
Corey Sanders
CJ Williamson
Lyrik Shreiner

Top Names for 2016:

Thon Maker
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Photo 247Sports

Eron Gordon
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DeRon Davis
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Dennis Smith
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Tyus Battle
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Other Names to watch:
Malik Monk
Terrence Ferguson
Juwan Durham
Abdul Ado
V.J. King
Eli Wright
Eric Hester
Josh Langford
Mark Vital
Kobi Simmons
Dewan Huell
Josh Jackson
Juwan Durham
Lamonte Turner
Braxton Blackwell
Quentin Goodin

The ACC Celebration, a Fathers Zenith, and a Son’s Beginning

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The last time I was at 4th Street live we were celebrating a Final Four run in 2012. That was my son’s very first Cardinal event. He returned to 4th Street live with me again today to celebrate the Cardinals move into the ACC. During the event this evening I reflected on how the Louisville program has gradually made the climb to be a major power player in my lifetime, and while watching my 2 year old son hugging the ACC mascots, getting his face painted and dancing to the Alma mater I wondered what the program will be like during his.

When I was 2 years old Louisville was in the Missouri Valley conference and the Football program was a D1 Independent. And while basketball has always found a way to thrive the other sports and athletic program as a whole were merely surviving. Today my sons Louisville program became a member of one of the most prestigious conferences in college sports. Today me and my son got to share in a transformational moment and one that will elevate the Louisville athletic program to the highest level in college athletics.

It was a huge day for the University of Louisville and I couldn’t be happier for our student athletes, administration, and coaches. They are the ones who have put in the time and the effort to make this day possible. But I’m also very happy for Cardinal Fans. They are the ones who spend their money to go to the games, they are the ones who buy Cardinal merchandise, and they are the ones who have stayed loyal through thick and thin. Even when we had to watch football games at old Cardinal stadium. The enthusiasm and passion of Cardinal Nation is second to none and it deserves the best.

I am the most happiest for my son. Today his Louisville program has a very solid foundation and is thriving in a very competitive landscape. His Louisville Cardinals are really miles ahead of where mine were in 1974, and the energy and excitement that will derive from this move to the ACC projects some great memories for him in the future.

Who’s Ready For ACC Road Trips?

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On Tuesday July 1st the Louisville Cardinals will officially be a part of the ACC. After years of moving from one conference to another the journey ends here. This move changes everything better competition, new rivalries, and each campus, city and arena will offer a new unique story/experience.

The move to the ACC will offer the opportunity for Cardinal fans to visit some of the most historical and unique venues in all of college sports. I know a few of the trips are definitely on my bucket list.

I thought I would research this topic and give fans a brief introduction to some of these interesting places that the teams of the ACC call home.

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos-Duke University

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Photo courtesy
DukeFootballTickets.com

Wallace Wade Stadium is home to the Duke Blue Devils Football Team. Wallace Wade Stadium has been home to the Duke Blue Devils since 1929. The stadium holds over 33,000 fans. This efficient football venue is the smallest in ACC, but it was supposed to undergo a make-over to remove the track around it allowing for more seating this spring.

There’s no club seating, luxury suites, or cup holders. The best thing here would be the walk to the stadium. The campus itself is beautiful, with so many structures contributing to the historic feel of the almost bicentennial institution. If only the stadium design also reflected this somehow. As I said, the design is very efficient, but efficiency alone is bland. I found several reports of parking issues through my research also. If you plan on traveling to Durham for a football game I suggest you get there early. You can also buy parking passes on their website.

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Photo courtesy goduke.com

Cameron Indoor Stadium seats just 9,314 fans, making it one of the smallest arenas on a major college campus. However, when it opened in 1940, Cameron Indoor was actually very big. The arena’s orginal name was merely Indoor Stadium. In 1972, the building’s name was changed to Cameron Indoor Stadium in honor of the school’s long-time athletic director and former basketball coach Eddie Cameron.

From the outside, Cameron looks unwelcoming to the wild and passionate fans known as the Cameron Crazies. Its gothic architecture matches the rest of the Duke campus, and the stained-glass windows make it appear church-like. Once inside though it can be a hell for visiting teams.

It’s the intimacy that makes Cameron Indoor Stadium one of the most revered venues in all of sports and it is one of the places that I’m most excited to visit.

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos-University of North Carolina

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Photo courtesy goheels.com

Carolina football plays its home games at the 60,000 seat Kenan Memorial Stadium. The most recent renovations to the state-of-the-art football facility, include a chancellors box, preferred seating box and a multi-media scoreboard. Opened in 1927, the stadium is one of the more instantly recognizable structures on this scenic and historic campus.

Though numerous renovations and expansions have taken the stadium from its original seating capacity, much of what was likely the original “soul” of the facility remains. I read reviews and some say it is “one of the most picturesque places to watch a game.”

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The Dean E. Smith Center is the third largest on-campus arena in the country, with a seating capacity of 21,750. The arena is named after former North Carolina coach Dean Smith, who coached the team from 1961 to 1997.

Walking in to the arena you are greeted with the history of UNC basketball they have a lot of banners hanging around and a fantastic looking basketball court. Word is if you want to experience the best college basketball gameday experience then you have to go to the Deandome.

Chapel Hill is one of the only true college towns in the ACC, with the college making up the town., so I can only imagine how loud and crazy this place is in person. This venue is in my top 2 of places I want to watch a basketball game.

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos-University of Miami

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Photo courtesy viewfrommyseat.com

Sun Life Stadium, previously Landshark Stadium, previously Dolphin Stadium, previously Pro Player Stadium, previously 100 other names seats around 67,000. Average attendance is around 47,000. One of the least impressive of football venues in the ACC it is hardly a college football stadium.

Being 20 miles from campus this venue doesn’t have the intimate setting or the character like most of the others in the ACC. But it is still worth a trip to hang out in Miami for a few days.

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The BankUnited Center, officially the University of Miami BankUnited Center, originally named the University of Miami Convocation Center, is an 7,972-seat multi-purpose arena on the campus of the University of Miami.

One of the more positive things I read about this venue was that it provides an electric atmosphere for basketball. Some say that it’s one the best venues in the country, while it is a new facility, it still has tremendous character and feels like a massive gym.

I like these smaller venues and they are great for packed games. Might just have to take a road trip to Miami.

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos-Wake Forest University

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Photo courtesy wakeforestspoets.com

The home of Wake Forest Football is BB&T Field, it’s considered one of the most beautiful stadiums of its size in the nation. The stadium has 31,500 permanent seats. This is a small, but nice single-decker stadium. A recent project added the “Deacon Tower” which adds a lot to the overall appeal of the venue. Overall, seems like a nice stadium.

The reviews I read mostly described this venue as one of their favorite ACC football stadiums. Parking is close and convenient, seating is comfortable. Beautiful field. An all-around outstanding facility. It is quite a bit smaller than most major college football stadiums, but I think this adds to the experience.

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The Joel, which is named for a Winston-Salem veteran who received the Congressional Medal of Honor, seats 14,665. Known as the smallest ACC school with enrollment of 3,950 and apparently all of them go to the basketball games.

Folks describe the atmosphere at Joel Coliseum as second only to Duke’s Cameron Indoor. Folks who have attended games there say it’s deafening, and say if the Wake students sat as close to the court as Duke’s students, they’d probably out-crazy the Crazies.

The pre-game ritual of the Demon Deacon mascot riding a gold Harley-Davidson motorcycle onto the court seems to be very popular as well.

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos-Boston College

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Photo courtesy arcusa.com

Big-time football is rare in the Northeast, but reviews say that Alumni Stadium at Chestnut Hill offers legitimate college football to the New England area. Alumni Stadium is a relatively small football stadium, with a max capacity of about 45,000

Like a lot of these ACC venues the beautiful campus, the surrounding neighborhoods and location are a big attraction . From the upper deck will you can get a view of BC’s Gothic architecture looming just up the hill from the stadium.

Views from the west deck are apparently the best on campus with the stadium, local reservoir and Boston skyline all captured in one view. Advice from those who have seen a game here is to bring a camera and enjoy the sights outside of the game as well as the game itself.

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Since it opened in October 1988, the Silvio O. Conte Forum has been the heart of the Boston College athletics program. They play basketball and hockey here. The venue holds 8,606 for basketball. The venue is located on campus in Chestnut Hill, and again this is a very beautiful campus.

The consensus of reviews say fan support in recent years has been spotty for basketball, but that Conte remains a uniquely comfortable and modern college facility. Fans say while lacking the “gym” style of many big-time college facilities, views are still very good for basketball.

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos-Georgia Tech

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Bobby Dodd Stadium at Grant Field seats 55,000. The stadium was built in 1913, making it the oldest on-campus stadium in division IA college football. This storied football facility has been a cornerstone of college football for nearly a century. Cozily nestled among Atlanta’s skyscrapers, Bobby Dodd Stadium at Historic Grant Field is easily one of the nation’s most unique settings for college football.

The consensus of reviews for this venue say Inside the stadium offers a unique classic college football pageantry. Student sections behind both ends zones erupt as the Ramblin’ Wreck leads the Yellow Jackets onto the field. The Yellow Jacket Marching Band is one of the more impressive bands in college football and puts on a great show.

Those that have seen games here say the pageantry of a Georgia Tech football game day makes a Saturday at Bobby Dodd Stadium an essential trip for any college football fan.

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The Hank McCamish Pavilion (formerly known as the Alexander Memorial Coliseum, also nicknamed The Dome or The Thrillerdome seats 8,600.

Folks that have watched a game here like the intimacy of the experience. Because McCamish is set up like a bowl, there is not a bad seat in the house. And while they say the Tech fans don’t always turn out that when they do this little place can get pretty loud.

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos-University of Virginia

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Photo courtesy aviewfrommyseat.com

Scott Stadium, with a capacity of 61,500, is the 27th-largest university-owned college football stadium. One aspect that adds a lot of personality is the line of white columns outlining the hill. It’s a beautiful venue, but according to visiting fans it’s not an especially tough place to play.

The Cavaliers have been playing football here since 1931 and it has the reputation of being one of the most aesthetically pleasing college football stadiums in North America. A census of the reviews I read say Scott Stadium offers a unique football experience steeped in history and tradition.

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John Paul Jones Arena is the largest arena in the commonwealth of Virginia and it has seating for 14,593 fans. Simply put, UVA has the best (okay, maybe “one of the best”) college basketball facility in the country.

General consensus here is that the building is also absurdly aesthetically pleasing, right down to the pagodas that match the rest of the architecture on Grounds. Great GameDay atmosphere and UV has one of the best home court advantages as a result.

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos-North Carolina State University

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Wayne Day Family Field at Carter–Finley Stadium is home to the North Carolina State University Wolfpack football team. It has a seating capacity of 57,583 seats. In its 45 years of existence, Carter-Finley Stadium has earned a reputation as one of the most exciting venues in college football.

It is a off campus facility located about 15 minutes from all of the things Raleigh NC has to offer. People that have visited this venue say Wolfpack fans are the type that come early and stay late. Several hours before kickoff, you will see the parking lot begin to fill with tents, grills, and other tailgate gear.

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PNC Arena is an indoor arena, located in Raleigh, North Carolina. The Arena seats 19,722 for basketball, including 66 luxury suites and 2,000 club seats. The building has three concourses and includes a 300-seat restaurant.

The revues aren’t very favorable for this venue. The consensus is that it lacks the feel of a real college gym.
Even with 2,000 students surrounding the PNC Arena court on three sides, it still feels antiseptic, ringed by luxury suites and video boards more appropriate for the facility’s other tenet, the National Hockey League’s Carolina Hurricanes.

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos-Virginia Tech

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Lane Stadium/Worsham Field is a stadium located in Blacksburg VA. It has a seating capacity of 65,632. This venue is ranked #2 on ESPN.com’s “Top 10 Scariest Places To Play.” Most ACC reviewers mention it as the second or third best place to watch a football game.

Like many of the ACC venues I’ve researched Lane is another one that is reported to be easy on the eyes. On another very beautiful campus it’s nestled in the scenic mountains of Virginia, and has an altitude of 2,057 ft above sea level. It is the highest of any stadium in major college football.

VT is known for their blue-collar attitude, as symbolized by their “Lunch Pail Defense,” and according to the reviews I read this also represent a lot of their fan base. Reports are that this place can get pretty rowdy on a Saturday afternoon.

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Cassell Coliseum is a 10,052-seat multi-purpose arena in Blacksburg, that opened in 1962. For a half a century, Cassell has provided Virginia Tech with one of the greatest home courts in all of men’s college basketball.

Those who have watched a game here say it’s an older facility lacking a lot of modern amenities, but that it still had some charm of its own. With its wooden seats and beam shaped ceiling it’s a very unique place indeed. Fans say it can get pretty loud at times., and that there isn’t a bad seat in the house. Biggest tip I found in the reviews “Get the dairy club milkshakes at VT game near Section 16″.

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The seats used to be painted – when they stripped them, they found elm wood underneath. So they stripped them all, rather than replace them. Very cool!

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos-Florida State University

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Bobby Bowden Field at Doak Campbell Stadium, commonly referred to as “The Doak”, is the football stadium on the campus of the Florida State University in Tallahassee. It has a seating capacity of 82,300.

This venue has regained its edge recently as it houses the reigning National Champion. Fans rave about this venue calling it a great place to visit for a game. The tradition, pageantry, and crowd noise is top-notch. Chief Osceola’s entrance on his the horse, Renegade, and his famous spear plant is college football tradition at it’s finest.

Reviews say that the inside isn’t that impressive but say the outside is absolutely gorgeous, quite possibly the nicest in the nation.

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The Donald L. Tucker Civic Center is a multi-purpose arena in Tallahassee, and has a capacity of 12,508. The arena has the biggest capacity of any arena in the Florida Panhandle.

A summary of reviews for this basketball venue. Good venue and pretty centrally located in downtown Tallahassee. There’s plenty of parking and the facilities are fine. It is the only venue in town capable of seating a large number of people.

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos-Clemson University

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Last but certainly not least is Frank Howard Field at Memorial Stadium.
The tradition and pageantry here is unrivaled across the conference. Between the hill, the rock, and the 84,000 screaming fans, “Death Valley” has it all.

There’s a tree that stands near the hill, adding a touch of nature and washing away the concrete jungle feel that so many large stadiums have. And there is a sea of greenery surrounding this massive place making it very pleasing to the eyes. Most reviews call this football venue in the ACC the granddaddy of them all.

This video explains it all. I give you “Death Valley”

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Littlejohn Coliseum is a 10,000-seat multipurpose venue. “Death Valley” gets all the love from sports fans around these parts but fans say there is much to offer at Littlejohn Coliseum. Reviews say with Clemson’s surroundings outside and great basketball inside, this is quite the intriguing destination for college basketball lovers.

The passion Clemson fans and students feel for football doesn’t extend to basketball.

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I omitted the venues at Syracuse, Notre Dame and Pittsburgh from this entry because Cardinal fans are very familiar with them from our time in the Big East. I also didn’t mention that we will get to play at Notre Dame this season. That place oozes College Football history and I will be there.

Having the opportunity to visit all of these great venues in the ACC is very exciting. Being involved in conferences with teams located in urban areas we have been deprived of the more traditional and intimate football settings. N.C. State, Wake Forest and Florida State are the only three ACC teams to play games in off-campus arenas.

As a fan I can’t wait to visit some of these college towns. Cameron Indoor and Death Valley are on the bucket list for sure. And as a Cardinal fan I can’t wait to show these other ACC schools that we have our own great tradition and pride when they visit our venues.

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