Syracuse: Notre Dame and Boston College.
Virginia: Virginia Tech and Maryland.
Virginia Tech: Boston College and Virginia.
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Wake Forest: Duke and N.C. State.
How does Mike Brey’s basketball program fit in the ACC?
Almost perfectly. A suburban Washington native and former Duke assistant, Brey has guided the Irish to eight NCAA tournaments in 12 years, including the last three, and ACC membership should augment their recruiting not only on the Eastern Seaboard but also nationally.
The additions of Notre Dame, Pitt and Syracuse make the ACC college basketball’s premier conference with five programs – North Carolina, Duke, N.C. State, Maryland and Syracuse -- that have won national championships in the last 30 years.
“This strengthens the best basketball league in the country even more,” said Virginia Tech coach James Johnson, whose job just got harder.
In what other sports will Notre Dame most impact the ACC?
Since their most recent football national championship in 1988, the Irish have won three national titles in women’s soccer and one in women’s basketball. Notre Dame is also a men’s lacrosse power.
Women’s basketball is the bigfoot, with 17 consecutive NCAA tournament bids under Muffet McGraw. The Irish lost the national championship game the past two seasons.
Amusing quote, by the way, from Irish lacrosse coach Kevin Corrigan, whose father, Gene, graduated from Duke, served as athletic director at Virginia and Notre Dame and preceded Swofford as ACC commissioner.
“I had uncles that went to Maryland,” Corrigan said. “My father went to Duke, coached at Virginia, worked at Virginia and Notre Dame and ultimately at the ACC office. We are filthy in the ACC. It's been part of my life growing up. Along with Notre Dame, I can't think of a group of schools that I'd rather be associated with. It's just a thrill for us.”
Is full ACC membership for Notre Dame inevitable?
School officials say absolutely not, and I have no reason to dispute them. My guess is neither athletic director Jack Swarbrick nor president Rev. John Jenkins want the Irish to abandon football independence on their watch. But they won’t be in power forever, and future changes to football’s postseason could force Notre Dame’s hand.
So unless the Irish do accept full membership, there’s no need for the ACC to expand further? No need for realignment chatter?
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