Zion Williamson Is Back For ACC Tournament

Zion ignored the haters and returns to the court tonight to resume Duke’s quest for another ACC and NCAA Tournament title.

Despite Duke’s winning history, legendary coach and bevy of young elite talent, the “Zion Effect” has proved to be the pendulum swinging influence when it comes to the fate of this Blue Devils team and how far the public thinks they can advance in the ACC Tournament. Then the NCAA Tourney.  

When I attended the CBS/Turner Sports NCAA Tournament Media Day on Monday, names of schools such as Virginia and Gonzaga and North Carolina started emerging as possible title favorites.

Zion’s absence meant that much.

Those analysts are surely backtracking today as it was announced that Zion is back for the ACC Tournament, which kicks off tonight as Duke opens up against Syracuse.  

https://twitter.com/espn/status/1106217546808770561

 

After getting off to a hot start behind the captivating and dominating play of projected NBA first overall pick Zion Williamson, Duke has stumbled to a 3-3 record since his Nike sneaker exploded 36 seconds into a game against North Carolina.

All hell broke loose in college basketball, with opinions running rampant about what Zion should do going forward.  Should he risk a lucrative and inevitable NBA bag just to play in some meaningless college games, where everyone benefits financially from his performance except him? 

With Zion’s return up in the air, Duke was no longer the lockdown favorite to win the 2019 NCAA title.

His return, however,  spells doom for Syracuse, who had a puncher’s chance of winning with Zion sidelined. With the media frenzy, excitement and inspiration that his return brings to Duke and the college basketball stage, Cuse’s chances of pulling an upset has plummeted.

https://twitter.com/syrbasketball/status/1106229151495872512

 

Williamson’s  knee strain wasn’t serious enough for him to consider shutting it down for the season. And while these games may have little financial incentive for the 6-foot-7 athletically freakish baller, they mean the world to ACC fans, his teammates who aren’t NBA bound after this season and the basketball community at large.

The sports community has been thirsting to see the 8th wonder of the world return to the court.

Fellow Duke freshman RJ Barrett improved his NBA stock with solid scoring performances and decent leadership  in Zion’s absence. He held down the fort and now that Williamson is back, Duke’s freshman triumvirate is reunited and ready to continue the goal of bringing a title to Durham.

JR Gamble joined The Shadow League in 2012. The General Manager of Content & Social Media is in his 25th year of covering sports and culture professionally. He has covered a wide variety of major sports and entertainment topics across different mediums, including radio, newspapers, magazines and national TV. His passion is baseball, the culturing of baseball and preserving and documenting the historically-impactful accomplishments and contributions of African-Americans in baseball.