Notre Dame to ACC: How This Impacts Their NCAA Tournament Chances

Doug BrodessCorrespondent ISeptember 12, 2012

NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 08: Jerian Grant #22 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish drives with the ball against Hugh Robertson #34 of the South Florida Bulls during the quarterfinals of the Big East Men's Basketball Tournament at Madison Square Garden on March 8, 2012 in New York City.  (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
Chris Trotman/Getty Images

It would be easy for the Notre Dame men's basketball program to suffer from an inferiority complex over the legend that is Fighting Irish football.

Thirteen recognized national championships.

Seven Heisman Trophy winners.

An NCAA record 96 consensus All-Americans.

The Fighting Irish football team casts a large shadow over the rest of the athletic department, if not the entire university.

Still, the ND hoops program, though it doesn't have anywhere close to the same number of awards and accolades, has nothing to apologize for when it comes to long-term success.

They are currently No. 9 in NCAA tournament appearances.

  1. Kentucky (52)
  2. North Carolina (43)
  3. UCLA (42)
  4. Kansas (41)
  5. Louisville (38)
  6. Indiana (36)
  7. Duke (36)
  8. Syracuse (35)
  9. Notre Dame (32)
  10. Villanova (31)

In ESPN/Sagarin All-Time Rankings, the Fighting Irish were rated No. 12.

In the dozen years that Mike Brey (259-130) has been the ND head coach, they have made the postseason every year and made the NCAA tournament in eight of those 12 seasons.

During Digger Phelps' years of prowling the sidelines, the Fighting Irish went 393-195, appearing in the NCAA tournament 14 times.

Some might wonder what impact entering the ACC will have on ND's year-to-year NCAA tournament chances.

Most recently, Brey's bunch has done a fantastic job of qualifying for the Dance while playing in the cutthroat competition of the Big East.

Five of the last six seasons, the Irish were smiling on Selection Sunday.

If they have been able to get things done in the Big East, they should have the same chances on a season-by-season basis going up against the aggressive action in the ACC.

ND's actual ACC entry date hasn't been determined, but they are already bringing in talent to put on the floor, whether it's a Big East building or an ACC arena.

Brey has already signed a pair of 4-star recruits for the class of 2013.

And, who knows? Changing to the Atlantic Coast Conference might be the tipping point for getting 5-star PG Demetrius Jackson to accept the Irish's offer and head to South Bend.

Bottom Line: Even if ND goes in as a seventh seed, as they did in the 2012 tournament, the Irish are going to regularly be playing toward that "one shining moment" after they start playing games in the ACC.