The Cavalier Wrestling Team, which won its first ACC title since 1977 just this year, has been named hosts to the 2011 ACC Championships. The tournament will be held at John Paul Jones Arena, according the Jeff White of VirginiaSports.com on his blog.
Technically speaking, this isn't a home-court advantage for the 'Hoos, who normally wrestle in the non-air-conditioned (that's just a personal bone of mine) Mem Gym. But it's going to be a heck of a scene next year when the Cavaliers defend their conference title in the $131 million arena.
"It's probably the best facility that any conference wrestling tournament's ever been held in," Head Coach Steve Garland said in White's blog. "I mean, I can't prove that. There's no way to quantify that. I just can't see another facility better than [JPJ]."
Hosting the conference tournament will do more than give the 'Hoos the homer advantage. It's working wonders for our recruiting as well, which doesn't really need all that much help to begin with, as five incoming Cavaliers have been named to Wrestling USA Magazine's 2010 All-America Teams."I'm just so excited. Every recruit who comes here on an unoffical visit, the first thing I do is bring him [to JPJ] and say, 'This is where the conference tournament is going to be. Can you imagine wrestling here?'
"You should see their eyes light up. You should see the look on their faces. Wrestling's always the lowest on the totem pole. The fact that wrestling got the support from the administration and got the go-ahead to do it there, it means more to the parents, especially, than anything. They can't believe that wrestling gets that kind of help here."