Jay Bilas Picks ACC Player Of The Year & Move ACC Tournament To MSG

by Jay Brown
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As UNC stays hot on their ACC win streak, ESPN commentator Jay Bilas called into “The Drive” to talk about the ACC’s best teams and other hot basketball topics as the last week of the regular conference season comes to a close.

Comparing the current North Carolina team to the championship 2009 team, Bilas says that the ’09 team was heavy on offense and had a margin of error so that their defense didn’t have to be as strong.

“This team this year has to pay attention to every detail,” says Bilas.  “And they’ve done that after a difficult start…they’ve embraced it, and it’s been fun to watch because they’ve been so resilient.”

When Marc James of “The Drive” asks Bilas if this UNC team has peaked too early, he says that “any team can get better (or worse)” but there is no way of knowing how well a team will play at the end of the season.

“It’s like saying if you make five birdies in the first five holes, did you peak too early.  You can take five birdies whenever you can get them.”

If Jay Bilas had to pick the ACC Player of the Year right now, he would pick either UNC’s Marcus Paige or Duke’s Jabari Parker.

“I don’t know who you vote for.  Parker’s the better player, but I don’t know if he’s had the better year,” says Bilas, who only looks at the ACC conference schedule wins and losses to determine his vote.

“Paige has been spectacular in the league, and I don’t think there has been a more valuable player.”

Both players he thinks should be 1st team all-ACC.  And speaking of the ACC tournament, he says that this year’s tournament doesn’t have a lot of great match-ups to watch in the first opening days.

Bilas imagines an ACC tournament that is “highly contested” to get in to, mainly consisting of 8 or 12 teams with the best records.  Then, you make it a hot ticket item to go watch it like in a New York City where the semi-finals are played on Friday and the finals on Saturday.  And if you get the perrenial good ACC basketball teams in, he thinks it’d be “better than the Final Four.”

“Greensboro is terrific…it’s very nice…a lot of history there.  It ain’t Madison Square Garden.”

For what’s best for the ACC conference and how well the Big East tournament played out, he says that he would put it up at MSG every year.  But if there are other issues, then he feels that they should play there every five years.

Listen to the full interview above to hear more about who deserves the #1 seeds in the NCAA Basketball Tournament and other topics in college basketball.

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