It appears the "Notre Dame to ACC starting next season" announcement will beat out the announcement of a new Pope.
Sports Illustrated reports Notre Dame will announce on Tuesday it will play basketball in the ACC starting next season. It will come after a conference call between Big East officials where the seven Catholic schools will formally depart from the conference as well.
The news is no surprise. Irish basketball coach Mike Brey said it flat out that the Irish were ACC bound on Sunday and that he was treating this week's Big East Tournament like the last hurrah for his program in the conference.
"We won't be in the Big East next year," Brey said Sunday night before his team departed for New York City. "My feeling is that we will methodically work towards the Atlantic Coast Conference. That's kind of what we're planning. No one has told us that officially--my boss hasn't told me that officially yet but that's how we are planning with our non-league schedule and when we are thinking about things."
The Irish are the #6 seed for the Big East Tournament and will open up Wednesday night after 9pm against either DePaul or Rutgers at Madison Square Garden. With this being the final year before the major conference breakup, Brey says the tourney will have a different feel to it.
"I'll probably be sad at times that this will be the last time we're all together in that building," Brey explained.
"I was thinking that we've stayed in the same hotel for like 10 years and the guy that takes care of us there, I gotta tell him when we check in that 'this is it man. Who gets our hotel?' Who gets the Dumont?'"
"I'm excited about the challenge of the ACC but I've invested a lot in this league. To not be a Big East guy anymore, there's some emotional drain on that."
Notre Dame announced back in the fall that it would leave the Big East for the ACC in all sports except football and hockey. It was expected not to happen until 2014 but with the Catholic 7 departure announcement for next year, the timetable had to move up.