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November 28, 2012
The Atlantic Coast Conference voted to extend membership to the University of Louisville Wednesday morning in a conference call according to Dan Wetzel and Pat Forde of Yahoo! Sports .
The vote brings to an end months of expansion rumors and realignment talk. The Cardinals watched as six other members of the Big East have left the league.
Syracuse and Pittsburgh have already been accepted by the ACC. They are scheduled to move to the league in 2013. Then earlier this fall, Notre Dame bolted the league, joining the ACC in all sports except football.
TCU and West Virginia were accepted by the Big 12 this summer, and many felt the Mountaineers took a spot that was at one time intended for Louisville. Rutgers was the last to get another invitation, landing a prime spot in the Big Ten last week.
The Big 10's move to bring in Rutgers and ACC member Maryland is what led to Wednesday's vote. The ACC needs a new member to fill Maryland's shoes and Louisville is their pick.
The move for Louisville is seen as a response to football powers Florida State, Clemson and Virginia Tech requesting a strong football program be added to the league. The Cardinals won the 2007 Orange Bowl and have been ranked in the Top 25 for most of this season.
The Cardinals should be immediately competitive in more than a dozen sports including football, basketball, women's basketball, men's soccer and others. The Cardinals have six programs ranked in the top 25 this fall, and brought home 10 Big East Championships last season.
Louisville has the most valuable basketball program in the nation (Forbes.com), and they'll be joining what has become the best basketball conference in the nation. With Pittsburgh, Syracuse, Louisville and Notre Dame from the Big East, the ACC gained four NCAA Tournament teams, four programs that have been to the Final Four and two recent NCAA No. 1 seeds in Syracuse and Louisville.