Notre Dame Fighting Irish to Join the ACC Next Season

Mike Brey Notre Dame Rick Pitino Louisville

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

The NCAA and the college basketball landscape is forever changing. With this week’s conference tourneys and the weekend’s selections to the NCAA tournament upon us another announcement will be made official. The Atlantic Coast Conference already expanding to fourteen basketball members starting in the Fall of 2013 is about to add another school.

The ACC is arguably the strongest basketball conference in the nation, and now word of another school being ushered into the conference is proving that thought correct. The University of Notre Dame will be accepted as a basketball member in the Fall of this year. That will take the ACC to fifteen schools.

Notre Dame will bring the Midwest to the ACC. It will open up recruiting channels but more importantly it will open up media markets. Chicago and Indianapolis will now be a part of ACC country. More media equals more publicity which in the end equals a bigger television contract. A bigger contract means more money to the conference and its member schools.

NBC Sports Network is need of a leg up and getting a piece of the ACC pie might be a way to do it. On the other hand an ACC Television network might be the way to go. Are you listening ESPN? Imagine the advertising dollars that could come in with the ACC tournament in either New York or Chicago?

The conference will be unbalanced at fifteen schools. Just as news comes out about Notre Dame going to the ACC another school might get that vaunted sixteenth spot. That other school could be Louisville, who has been looking to get out of the Big East and follow Syracuse and Pittsburgh farther southeast.

Once again it looks like an exciting time for NCAA conference realignment. This means better basketball during the entire season. It also means that the smaller schools get left out without exposure, without a shot a tournament bids and most importantly without the dollars to compete.

Shahab Khan is a Basketball and NCAA Columnist with Rant Sports

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