Big East breakup could mean Notre Dame joins ACC early (in hoops)

Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

The Catholic 7 are starting their new conference, meaning the Notre Dame Fighting Irish could join the ACC in 2013.

The Big East spinoff "Catholic 7" are on their way to starting a new league, which will still be called the Big East in 2013, according to Brett McMurphy of ESPN. Georgetown, Villanova, Providence, Marquette, DePaul, Seton Hall and St. John's will all be breaking off to form their own league.

But the bigger news could be that Notre Dame might be on its way to the ACC in basketball this year, rather than next. The schedule was originally planned for the Irish to join in 2014, but they could be a year ahead of schedule now that their current conference is on the verge of reformation.

As for football, the only change could be the conference's name.

With Syracuse, Louisville and Pittsburgh already on their way to the ACC, that leaves UConn, Temple, Cincinnati, South Florida and future members Houston, SMU, UCF, Memphis, Tulane, East Carolina and Navy as the members of the current Big East, which will undergo a name change. Whoever wins this conference will still end up with a BCS bowl bid, according to McMurphy.

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