KREST: Greensboro? Brooklyn? Where does the ACC belong?

It’s your job to make us care about your arrival. You won’t be welcomed like a liberator.

UNC guard Caleb Love goes up for a layup during last week's ACC Men's Tournament in Brooklyn. (PJ Ward-Brown / North State Journal)

Ten years ago, I won a seat on my local school board. That spring, we attended the East Coast regional school board conference in New York City.

Nobody cared that we were there.

The local papers didn’t mention that the school board conference was in town. No mention on the local news. I didn’t quiz local bed-and-breakfast operators, but I doubt any of them were aware of our presence either.

One conclusion to draw is that we shouldn’t have come and should never go back. Another is to realize a truth about how the world works: You go to New York City because you want to be there … not because they want you there.

The ACC seems to be having a hard time realizing that — maybe not the league officials, coaches or players, but the fans and media attending the tournament certainly struggled with that fact last week.

The ACC wanted to hold its tournament in Brooklyn because players on the teams involved wanted to play in an NBA arena in the Big Apple and because coaches wanted to be able to mention that possibility while recruiting them. Holding the conference tournament in New York increases the league’s prestige. The point of heading north wasn’t to try to sell tickets to New York fans — or if it was, that was a misguided reason that was likely doomed to fail, at least in the short run.

New York’s signature song begins with the line, “Start spreadin’ the news.” In other words, it’s your job to make us care about your arrival. You won’t be welcomed like a liberator.

Instead of enjoying the experience, the ACC has acted like “The Out of Towners,” asking everyone on the street if they’ve heard of Shaker Heights, Ohio, and telling them why everything is better there. People are nicer, sandwiches are cheaper and it’s not so dirty. Also, fans there buy tickets and come to our games.

Even when the ACC did generate local interest in its three trips to Brooklyn, it was with Syracuse, Notre Dame and Duke — three teams who have a large alumni presence in the city. They aren’t winning over New Yorkers. They’re holding class reunions.

All season long, the consensus has been that it’s a down year for the ACC — not as many star players or great teams as in days of yore. And that’s the product that we took to the Apple, expecting fans there to embrace it. It would be like a music conservatory deciding to not send its best piano players to Carnegie Hall. The B and C students should be good enough for that audience.

The tournament delivered, as it always does, with drama and action. The Miami-BC overtime battle was an all-timer, as was Duke’s hard-fought win over Syracuse. Virginia Tech supplied a clutch, history-making run to a championship. Instead of enjoying the show, however, the ACC entourage watched with one eye on the locals, saying, “Huh? Huh? Whaddya think?”

As Jay-Z says, there are “eight million stories out there in the naked city. It’s a pity half y’all won’t make it.” Wake Forest-Boston College was one of that stories that didn’t. It’s not a failing on the ACC’s part that New Yorkers didn’t want to sell out the building for their early-round shrug games. It’s a failing that the ACC expected them to.

Instead, the conference came to town expecting to capture the city’s attention. And when they didn’t, they whined that Greensboro is better. The people care there (although I’m pretty sure I’ve seen a large black curtain in the early rounds covering the seats not filled by people who don’t). We’re a big deal in Shaker Heights.

The ACC came to New York expecting to take the town by storm and couldn’t. As Jay-Z also said, “The city’s filled with them.”

“Greensboro is better,” we reply. “We should go back.”

To which the city would reply with a shrug and, “Just go, then,” if it noticed at all.

Another New York singing legend once crooned, “If I can make it there, I’ll make it anywhere.”

That’s where the ACC sits now as it plans future homes for the tourney.

It’s up to you.