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Photos: Greensboro sees record crowd as Notre Dame wins ACC women's basketball tournament

2024 ACC Women's Basketball Tournament
Mitchell Northam
Notre Dame coach Niele Ivey celebrates winning the 2024 ACC Tournament Championship for women's college basketball in Greensboro, N.C.

After five action-packed days of hoops, the 2024 Atlantic Coast Conference Women's Basketball Tournament came to a close on Sunday in Greensboro, with the Notre Dame Fighting Irish winning their first championship since 2019.

By beating N.C. State 55-51, Notre Dame coach Niele Ivey became the first Black woman to win an ACC tournament title. The tournament's MVP honors went to Hannah Hidalgo, who piled up 58 points, 18 rebounds, 18 assists and six steals across three games inside the Greensboro Coliseum. Hidalgo was also voted the conference's Freshman of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year and looks like a player who could succeed Iowa's Caitlin Clark as the next major star in the growing sport of women's college basketball.

"She loves this game, so she just wants to compete, so everything that's coming her way is because of what she's been able to accomplish and do," Ivey said of Hidalgo.

The tournament was hosted by Greensboro for the 24th time in the past 25 years and was, by all measures, a roaring success. The ACC said that 67,081 people attended games across five days at the Coliseum, which is the highest total attendance the tournament has drawn since 2009.

Before the tournament started last week, Miami's Katie Meier — currently the longest tenured head coach in the ACC — reminisced about the conference tournaments she competed in the late 1980s as a player at Duke. Back then, it was hosted at the Civic Center in Fayetteville and players were welcomed by a pig-picking dinner.

Since 2000, it's been in Greensboro every year except for 2017, when the ACC and NCAA pulled all of its events out of North Carolina because of House Bill 2, which became known as the "bathroom bill." Greensboro has since become a special place for Meier and the Miami Hurricanes, who are now 5-3 over their last eight games in the Coliseum after beating North Carolina last Thursday before falling to Virginia Tech in the quarterfinals.

“We are the standard of a postseason conference women’s basketball tournament, and it’s credit to Greensboro and the ACC office that committed to women’s basketball,” Meier said. “Greensboro is just so supportive of our product — and before women’s basketball was as hot as it is now. You know, they stepped up first … and it means a lot to me.”

2024 ACC Women's Basketball Tournament
Mitchell Northam
Virginia Tech center Elizabeth Kitley watches from the bench at the 2024 ACC women's basketball tournament in Greensboro, N.C.

Virginia Tech came into the tournament as the No. 1 seed and aimed to defend its title from a year ago, but played without Summerfield, and without N.C. native and three-time ACC Player of the Year Elizabeth Kitley, who was sidelined with a left leg injury. The Kitley-less Hokies lost to Notre Dame in the semifinals on Saturday.

Meanwhile, N.C. State played in the title game for the fourth time in five years — beating Duke and Florida State along the way — but fell just short of adding another trophy to coach Wes Moore's collection.

Next up — for what ESPN projects to be as many as nine ACC teams — is the NCAA Tournament.

Mitchell Northam is a Digital Producer for WUNC. His past work has been featured at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, SB Nation, the Orlando Sentinel and the Associated Press. He is a graduate of Salisbury University and is also a voter in the AP Top 25 poll for women's college basketball.
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