Georgia Tech can anticipate playing in a road environment when it plays its ACC opener against North Carolina Dec. 31 at McCamish Pavilion.
As the Tech football team will be playing in the TaxSlayer Bowl at the same time as the men’s basketball team, the Yellow Jackets will likely be playing before Tar Heels fans and perhaps only the most ardent supporters of coach Josh Pastner’s team. The bowl game starts at 11 a.m. on New Year’s Eve and the basketball game starts at noon. The basketball game is locked into its time slot, according to a conference spokesman.
In years past, Tech home games against North Carolina have typically brought out hundreds of fans in support of the Tar Heels. This year, with many Jackets fans likely looking to unload their seats, UNC backers figure to be the ones to scoop them up.
Furthermore, the Tech basketball game will be played a few miles from the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl at the Georgia Dome, played between No. 1 Alabama and No. 4 Washington. The College Football Playoff semifinal starts at 3 p.m. The overlap means that the game, a fairly meaningful one in Pastner’s first season, will not receive the local attention that a game against the powerhouse Tar Heels typically would, particularly in the conference opener.
While the construction of a conference basketball schedule incorporates several factors and moving parts, it was perhaps not the best scheduling work by the ACC in conjunction with its television partners. The game will be broadcast on the ACC Network (including CW 69 in Atlanta).