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Mar
29
2015

After an Elite 8 NCAA Tourney, Notre Dame men’s basketball finally feels like part of the ACC.

Grant

When Syracuse and Pittsburgh joined the ACC, they instantly felt like part of the ACC. SyracuseDuke basketball games in 2014 were instant ratings hit. Pittsburgh’s Aaron Donald was part of a record setting haul of individual ACC football awards in 2013. Louisville joined the ACC this past year, their football team beat Notre Dame and finished in the top 25. Their basketball team has reached the Elite 8 and has been ranked in the top 20 all year. These felt like ACC programs quickly.

As we know Notre Dame is not a full member of the ACC. The football team will average 5 ACC opponents a year, but still feels like an out of conference opponent because well it is. The men’s basketball team was 15-17 last season, and was pretty much an afterthought in the league.

As opposed to the other new ACC members, Notre Dame barely felt like it was part of the ACC the last two years. I think that changed in the last month. First Notre Dame won the ACC men’s basketball tournament, and made a run to the Elite 8. There they pushed the #1 ranked Kentucky Wildcats to the brink in a 68-66 loss. Not many ACC fans I know care much for Kentucky. If twitter was any indication ACC fans were solidly behind the Irish.

Nothing unites ACC basketball like their hate for Kentucky. Notre Dame nearly pulled off a tremendous upset. Even before that though, the Irish were part of the ACC’s outstanding performance in the NCAA tournament. The conference’s performance could result in over $28 million for the conference over the next 6 years.   The ACC currently sits 14-4 in this year’s NCAA tournament. By far the best performance of any conference this year, and still counting. Many have said this should give the ACC the title of the best basketball conference in 2015.

Notre Dame played a big role in the ACC’s resurgence as a basketball conference this season. Finally after 2 years, Notre Dame’s men basketball feels like it really is part of the ACC.

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