For all the excitement that mid-major title games can breed in college, the exact opposite is true for players in the Big Ten, Atlantic Coast Conference and other conference powers.
Teams that already have a spot in the NCAA Tournament clinched don’t exactly get up for their conference tournament. Asked if the ACC Tournament was ever a big deal to him, Zeller paused before shaking his head no.
“We weren’t too worried about it,” he said. “We thought it was more impressive to win 16 [conference] games during the season than three games in three days.”
Under Roy Williams, Zeller said North Carolina has never won the regular-season championship and then the conference tournament.
“That was one of those fun facts we always used with Coach whenever we lost,” Zeller said.