Boeheim is the most irresistible character in the ACC expansion saga.
Of all the icons who competed in the Big East — Patrick Ewing, John Thompson, Chris Mullin, Louie Carnesecca and Jim Calhoun spring to mind — none was more steeped in the conference's lore than he. Indeed, Boeheim was the winning coach in the Big East's most enduring moment: Syracuse's six-overtime victory over Connecticut in the 2009 league tournament quarterfinals.
At age 68, and following a fourth Final Four appearance in April, Boeheim easily could have walked. The symmetry and symbolism of his farewell coinciding with the old Big East's would have been, in many ways, perfect.
But Boeheim is as hard-scrabble as his beloved Syracuse. The man loves a fight, and the ACC will be bruising.
And when might the ACC tournament come to Madison Square Garden or, less desirable, the Barclays Center? As he has countless times, Swofford made the conference's intent clear without offering details.
"We've been having this discussion for over a year now," he said, "and it's been a very thorough one and continues to be. There's still some … venue availability questions that we don't have answers for yet."
Swofford was more certain and succinct when I asked if Monday marked a more assertive, self-assured ACC, one that mirrored any good New Yorker.
"The simple answer," he said, "is yes."