Notre Dame set to join ACC next season


SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Goodbye Madison Square Garden, Georgetown and Villanova. Hello Greensboro Coliseum, North Carolina and Duke.

A year from now, Notre Dame men’s basketball team will be preparing for the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament instead of its annual trip to New York, where the Irish are a frustrating 9-17 all-time in the Big East tournament and have never made it to the league title game. The school announced Tuesday it is leaving the fractured Big East a year sooner than originally anticipated for the ACC in all sports except football and hockey.

The switch was approved in a vote by Big East university presidents in the wake of a split announced last week of the league’s football schools and seven Catholic schools that next season are forming their own basketball-focused conference with the Big East name. The vote means Notre Dame coaches can move forward with scheduling for the 2013-14 school year.

“It removes the uncertainty that made it hard for our coaches and athletes, so we’re very happy to resolve that for them,” athletic director Jack Swarbrick said in a telephone interview.

The move means stability for all Notre Dame sports and has some familiarity to Irish fans, with Syracuse and Pittsburgh joining the Irish in moving to the ACC next season and former Big East teams Boston College, Miami and Virginia Tech already part of the ACC.