The Irish are STORMING their way into the ACC a year early! We'd better make sure Coach K gets out safely. - USA TODAY Sports
St. Patrick's Day comes early for the ACC as a Sports Illustrated report indicates that the Irish will join the league a year earlier than expected.
We knew conference expansion and realignment was happening, we just didn't know that this train is traveling at the speed of fright (Busch Gardens, Big Bad Wolf, anyone?). According to a report by Sports Illustrated, Notre Dame's basketball teams will join the ACC next year. Together with the arrival of Syracuse and Pitt, the league will be up to 15 basketball teams.
The report states that the Big East presidents will vote Tuesday morning via conference call, with an announcement expected to come shortly thereafter.
With the implosion / revival / huh? of the Big East, all eyes turn to Louisville to see if the Cardinals will be making a similar move and joining the ACC a year early as well. Louisville is currently slated to replace Maryland in 2014.
It's unclear to me why only the basketball teams are moving at this time, while their remaining non-football sports will stay with the non-Catholic Big East for another year before moving. If Notre Dame moves their lacrosse programs over next year as well, and assuming Maryland doesn't bolt a year early, the ACC could become an automatic qualifier conference (ACC pun unintended) for a year before losing that status! Not that it would matter.
Hey, this is a UVA site, right? You knew I was going to tie this all back to lacrosse at the end of the day.
For more on Notre Dame, visit SB Nation's Irish blog, One Foot Down.
Update: Multiple sources are now reporting the same, and that Notre Dame will join effective July 1, 2013.