Evey year when Earth reaches this part of its orbit around the sun, another globe reaches its pinnacle: Basketball at the annual ACC Men’s Basketball Tournament. The Atlantic Coast Conference held its first men’s basketball tournament in 1954 at Reynolds Coliseum in Raleigh, making this year its 58th occurrence. And while some may think the ACC and its annual affair has lost its luster, (note that the linked-to article is illustrated by a Morton photograph) it will still generate excitement for many—especially those in our spot on the planet where UNC and Duke might just have another chance to battle each other on the neutral court inside Greensboro Coliseum.
Although Hugh Morton photographed basketball games well before 1954, he seems to have photographed his first ACC tournament in 1958. No negatives prior to the 1958 tournament have surfaced after processing. The photograph above depicts UNC coach Frank McGuire during an ACC Tournament game that year, and the pinback button is one of only two official photographer’s passes for the ACC tournament in the Morton collection. (The other pass is for 1969.) Want to see more ACC Tournament photographs by Morton? Follow the link to view more than 300 scanned thus far in the online image collection . . . and see if you can find the photograph of a “jump ball” being tossed by a North Carolina governor!