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The Rundown: Atlantic Coast Conference

Twitter | @TheACC

Twitter | @TheACC

The Atlantic Coast Conference is a collegiate athletic conference in the United States in which its fifteen member universities compete in the NCAA. The ACC hosts 13 men’s division one sports and 14 women’s division one sports. The league was founded in 1953 by seven schools located in what are considered South Atlantic States.

The conference has added additional members in 1979, 1991, 2004, 2013, and 2014. The ACC has recently expanded beyond the coast and has stretched its branches of influence into the Midwest.

Institution Location Founded Enrollment Nickname Colors Joined
Atlantic Division
Boston College Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts 1863 13,906 Eagles 2005
Clemson University Clemson, South Carolina 1889 21,303 Tigers 1953
Florida State University Tallahassee, Florida 1851 40,337 Seminoles 1991
University of Louisville Louisville, Kentucky 1798 22,293 Cardinals 2014
North Carolina State University Raleigh, North Carolina 1887 35,767 Wolfpack 1953
University of Notre Dame South Bend, Indiana 1842 11,733 Fighting Irish 2013
Syracuse University Syracuse, New York 1870 21,029 Orange 2013
Wake Forest University Winston-Salem, North Carolina 1834 7,432 Demon Deacons 1953
Coastal Division
Duke University Durham, North Carolina 1838 14,591 Blue Devils 1953
Georgia Institute of Technology Atlanta, Georgia 1885 21,557 Yellow Jackets 1979
University of Miami Coral Gables, Florida 1925 15,657 Hurricanes 2004
University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, North Carolina 1789 29,390 Tar Heels 1953
University of Pittsburgh Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 1787 28,766 Panthers 2013
University of Virginia Charlottesville, Virginia 1819 23,907 Cavaliers 1953
Virginia Tech University Blacksburg, Virginia 1872 31,087 Hokies 2004

 

Only two schools have left the ACC while nine have joined since the conference was founded in 1953. Maryland recently bolted for the Big 10, while South Carolina set sail for the SEC back in 1971. The University of Louisville was voted into the ACC in November of 2012 as Maryland’s replacement.

Notre Dame is currently the only member of the ACC that is considered a “non-football member.” Only two schools (UNC and Duke) can boast all 13 men’s varsity sports, only Boston College and UNC can claim all 14 women’s division one sports.

The ACC has been yielding their annual rendition of Athlete of the Year since 1945. The Anthony J. McKelvin Award was given to the conference’s best athlete, regardless of gender, until 1990. The female version of the award is known as the Mary Garber Award, and has been won by some of the biggest names in women’s athletics.

The Atlantic Coast Conference knows nothing but spectacular athletics and blinding star power. The Anthony J. McKelvin award was awarded to James Worthy in 1982, Ralph Sampson in 1983, Michael Jordan in 1984, and then Len Bias in 1986.

Tim Duncan was prestigiously honored in 1996 and in 1997 and was preceded by Antawn Jamison in 1998 and Elton Brand in 1999. Mia Hamm took the women’s equivalent of the hardware home in 1993 when she dominated the pitch for UNC.

ACC football programs are eligible for the newly generated college football playoff. The 2013 National Title was won by Florida State, an established ACC power. The ACC’s football structure is divided into two seven team conferences, Atlantic and Coastal. The University of Louisville will compete in the Atlantic Division with Clemson, Florida State, and former Big East Rival, Syracuse. The ACC Coastal division is home to teams such as Duke, UNC, and The Steady Snitching University of Miami. Louisville is the seventh school to make the leap from the Big East to the ACC.

I feel like I need to get this out of the way early. Doesn’t Atlantic and Coastal sound like the same thing?

Video: Russ Smith Discusses Being Draft Process & Becoming A New Orleans Pelican

Instead of throwing himself a watch party of heading to Brooklyn to take in the sights and sounds of the Barcaly Center, Russ Smith took the non-traditional approach to draft night. Smith spent the evening shooting hoops at the KFC Yum! Center with friends and family.

Following the draft, Russ spoke with the media discussing the draft process and shared his excitement to join the New Orleans Pelicans. Although he maintains that he’s overjoyed to be in the NBA, I’m sure I’m not the only who can tell that Russ is more than eager to prove those wrong who passed on his in the draft.

Video courtesy of TheCrunchZone.com.

The Louisville Baseball Club’s Season Comes To An End

Nati Harnik — Associated Press

Nati Harnik — Associated Press

For the second consecutive season, the Louisville baseball program’s College World Series appearance was very brief.

The Cardinal Nine’s season came to an end on Monday afternoon as they fell to Texas 4-1 in an elimination game.

This was Louisville’s second loss in the double-elimination tournament. They fell to Vanderbilt 5-3 on Saturday evening.

“We had a two-inning lapse where we made it a little too easy on them,” Dan McDonnell said. “They got the momentum, and we let them roll with it.”

Unfortunately, Monday just wasn’t Louisville’s day as very little seemed to go right. Texas’ Parker French and Travis Duke limited the Cardinals to four hits, as the Longhorns produced runs in three straight innings.

“It’s the eight best and eight hottest teams in Omaha, so when you don’t play clean, it gets magnified out here,” McDonnell said following the game. ”

The value of scoring a run is so important that you do your best to try to score a run and you do your best to try not to give up a run. Unfortunately, we just gave them a few too many opportunities early.”

Losing four consecutive College World Series games will leave a bad taste in the mouth of fans, but Dan McDonnell and his team deserve a ton of credit for a spectacular season. This group has been a part of something very special that we may never see again. Back-to-back CWS appearances doesn’t happen too often.

Five Star Shooting Guard Tyus Battle Visited Louisville This Afternoon

Photo | Nike

Photo | Nike

Last week was a big one for the Louisville Cardinal basketball program. Louisville hosted four unofficial visitors, including two of the top 50 players from the 2015 class, Deng Adel and Bryant Crawford.

The program isn’t expected to have many visits this week, however they did receive an unofficial visit from one of the top overall players in the 2016 class on Monday afternoon.

Tyus Battle, a 6-foot-5, 185-pound guard from Gladstone, N.J. was on the UofL campus earlier today.

Battle is regarded as consensus top ten player in the 2016 class. Rivals and Scout both rate Battle as a five star prospect while Scout ranks him as the best shooting guard in the country.

Louisville isn’t considered to be one of the leaders for the New Jersey native, but getting him on campus for a visit certainly can’t hurt their chances.

Assistant coach Kenny Johnson has been recruiting Battle in recent months, but it doesn’t appear that he’s been offered a scholarship just yet. Don’t be surprised if that changes very soon. Johnson established a relationship with Battle while he was still a member of Tom Crean’s staff at Indiana

Battle will visit Kentucky tomorrow. He’s already taken two visits to Michigan and visited Villanova this spring.

Video: Dan McDonnell Previews Louisville’s Elimination Game Against Texas

Photo | College Baseball Central

Photo | College Baseball Central

It’s now win or go home for Dan McDonnell and the Louisville baseball club as they take on Texas this afternoon in an elimination game of the College World Series. The Cards got some momentum going in the final few innings against Vanderbilt on Saturday, but couldn’t get enough runs on the board falling 5-3 to the Dores.

Video courtesy of CardinalSports.com.

Louisville Falls To Vanderbilt 5-3 In Their CWS Opener

Ted Kirk - Associated Press

Ted Kirk – Associated Press

In their second straight appearance in the College World Series, Dan McDonnell and the Cardinal Nine are heading to the losers bracket after a 5-3 loss to the Vanderbilt Commodores on Saturday evening. In a game that lasted more than four hours, Louisville hung tough, but in the end fell just short.

The game was closer throughout the first couple of innings, but unfortunately starting pitcher Kyle Funkhouser had a tough time getting off of the field with two outs. The Commodores jumped to a 3-0 lead after three innings. In the fourth, Vandy added one more run after Bryan Reynolds tripled in Dansby Swanson.

The Cards cut it to 4-2 in the fifth after Sutton Whiting hit an RBI triple and scored on a groundout. Louisville added another run in the seventh cutting it to 4-3 after Zach Lucas narrowly beat Vandy’s throw to the plate on Nick Solak’s hit to center.

Unfortunately that was all of the offensive power that Cards had left.

“I feel better about our club now than maybe at this time last year,” Dan McDonnell said after the game. “I felt really good about our offense, and we had a lot of good at-bats. I thought our hitters really competed, put a lot of good swings on the ball, and they made two really nice catches.”

Louisville will play Texas in an elimination game Monday afternoon. Vandy has advanced to a meet with UC Irvine.

Getting To Know The Opponent: Vanderbilt Commodores

Vandy 2014

Vanderbilt University, which is colloquially known as Vandy, is a private research university located in Nashville, Tennessee. Vanderbilt’s enrollment sits at around 12,750 and the acceptance rate to the university is only 12.7%. Vanderbilt’s mascot is a fancy monopoly man in a top hat named Mr. Commodore.

Vandy’s colors are black and old gold, because regular gold wasn’t boojie enough. Vanderbilt was established in 1873 and has 14 varsity teams that compete in NCAA division one athletics. Vanderbilt is known for some of its influential alumni, and less for its athletic prowess.

Al gore

Al Gore went to Vanderbilt when he wasn’t too busy hunting down Man-Bear Pig or inventing the internet. Gore was Vice President from 1992 to 2000. He ran for President in 2000 and lost to George W. Bush after a controversial vote counting situation in the state of Florida. Gore conceded the presidential race to Bush after he forced about twelve recounts. Gore moved on to create a documentary on global warming entitled The Inconvenient Truth. Al Gore met his wife, political activist, Tipper Gore while attending Vanderbilt.

Dierks

Vanderbilt’s Nashville connections stretch far and wide, and the school has produced many of country music’s biggest stars. Dierks Bentley is an American country music singer songwriter who has been signed to Capitol Records. Bentley traveled to Nashville to chase his dream of being a country music star. Some of Dierks biggest hits include songs like “Hold On” and “5-1-5-0.” Bentley recently released his 9th studio album entitled Riser in February of 2014.

cornelius vandy

The Vanderbilt Commodores are named after Cornelius Vanderbilt. Cornelius made his fortune in the shipping industry back in the mid 1800’s. Vanderbilt student section routinely screams “Who ya with” at athletic competitions to honor Cornelius. “Who ya with” was obviously a typical and commonplace salutation for Cornelius, and Vandy students refuse to let the tradition die.

Louisville and Vandy played each other in the super regional last year as the Cardinal nine defeated Vanderbilt to punch a ticket to Omaha.

A Louisville Cardinal Fan’s Guide to the World Cup

2014 World Cup

It’s finally here, the quadrennial tradition that captivates the world. Like it or not even American sports fans are taken by the World Cup, whether you’re supporting the Stars and Stripes or questioning why soccer is even a sport.

As a person who was there, I understand what it’s like dipping your toes to the unknown that is international soccer. One great way to get involved is to find another rooting interest besides the US of A. (Psst, there’s a good chance they won’t even make the knockout rounds anyways.) So I’ve listed a few suggestions to the Cardinal faithful on who to root for this summer in Brazil.

If you loved Shawn Watson’s Louisville offense…

The Spaniard style of “tiki-taka” could have been developed by the king of boring offense himself Shawn Watson. Tiki-taka is all about short passing and movement, Spain uses possession to choke its opponents. They rarely make “big plays” but instead are constantly directing the ball via various passing channel.

Just like Watson’s offense (usually) worked for Louisville, the Spaniards are the reigning kings of the sport. They not only won the last World Cup but also the past two World Cups. Their last loss in an international tournament was to our beloved USA in the 2009 Confederations Cup.

Miss the magical throws of Teddy Bridgewater?

Lionel Messi is the closest thing to magic in today’s world of soccer, maybe all of sport. His incredible field vision is unmatched; the young Argentinian can always be counted on to make a creative and beautiful pass. Like Bridgewater, Messi also is the quieter player in this generation’s crop of greats. He is constantly competing for the “best in the world” title with obnoxious, serial supermodel dater ­Johnny Manziel Cristiano Ronaldo of Portugal.

Are you a fan of giving recently dismissed SEC players a second chance?

Look no further than the Flyin’ Uruguyan Luis Suarez. Suarez was the best player in the world this season tying the English Premier League record of 31 goals while missing seven matches. But Suarez is also among the most hated after a few incidents that included racist remark and biting a competitor mid-match. Yes, I said biting, and it wasn’t the first time. But Suarez at his best can completely take over a game, and this season was very much redemption for him. He very well could become the toast of the World Cup, if he leads his Uruguay to a deep run.

Ready for the beautiful return of Big Play Bobby?

You saw this one coming a mile away, the Brazilian National Team is known far and wide for their “Joga Bonito” offensive play. The style, Portuguese for ‘play beautifully’ is art on the field. The Brazilians showcase technical flair on the ball and put on a show for the crows. Of course this year’s Brazil has plenty of players with one name: Hulk, Oscar, Paulinho, and Fred are standouts.

But the star is Neymar, the 22 year old Brazilian wunderkind is poised to break out this summer. The kid has all of the weight of an entire country on him. You see last time Brazil hosted the World Cup, the home team lost to Uruguay in the final. Many worry that Neymar and his compatriots might buckle under the pressure again. But if he’s the talent that many believe him to be, the Green and Yellow may come through for their sixth championship.

Want to cheer for a player who can pass it like Peyton Siva?

Andrea Pirlo is 35 years ago, but he still might be the best passer in the world. The wily Italian is an absolute field general, just like Siva was for Louisville. He whips the ball around with incredible touch and control. The Italians call him “l’architetto” or “the architect” because he can create goal scoring opportunities with is super long passes. He is a maestro with the ball and makes plays that have to be seen to be believed.

Who is the most Wayne Blackshear-like player in the tournament?

Jozy Altidore has long had the potential to be the greatest American player in the world. But things have never quite worked out for him. He moved from the MLS to Spanish Club Villareal and bounced around a few clubs with little success. But he showed incredible promise after some time in the Dutch league. Just like Wayne Blackshear, Altidore has streaks. You will often hear American players begging for him to play well. If he can come alive in Brazil, the US will have a much better chance to succeed in their group of death.

Looking for the team most like Louisville entering the ACC?

It might be hard to believe that this is the Belgians’ 12th World Cup, but this is certainly their first as a serious contender. Vegas considers Belgium the fifth favorite, but a look at their roster is deserving of even more regard. Their captain Vincent Kompany is an absolute enforcer in the defense. Their attack force of Eden Hazard, Adnan Januzaj, and the giant Romelu Lukaku is quick, young, and really really talented. In goal Thibaut Courtois might be the hottest keeper on Earth right now.

But the World Cup isn’t usually won without experience and the Belgians haven’t reached the quarterfinals since 1986. Like Louisville in the ACC, they have the talent but the lack of experience among this competition may be their downfall.

Enjoy the World Cup ladies and gentleman. It’s an incredible event, and the best that sports has to offer us. If you’re a newcomer looking for more insight into the tournament, I recommend this amazing introduction from Grantland.

P.S:

Final Four: Brazil, Germany, Chile, and Argentina

Semis: Brazil and Argentina (By the way the continent of South America may explode if this happens.)

Champion: Brazil

And, yes our beloved USA will escape the Group of Death.

Trinity’s Raymond Spalding Lands Louisville Offer Following Visit

Photo: WSTXSports.com

Photo: WSTXSports.com

Following an unofficial visit to Louisville this afternoon, Trinity High School’s Raymond Spalding picked up a scholarship offer from Rick Pitino. Spalding has been on the Louisville radar for quite some time and has been climbing in the national rankings.

The Louisville native was one of four recruits that are visiting Louisville this week. Class of 2015 prospect Bryant Crawford and 2016 prospect Eli Wright were also on campus today. 2015 wing Deng Adel is expected to have his unofficial visit tomorrow.

The 6-foot-9, 200-pound, power forward had a very strong junior season at Trinity and is performing well on the AAU circuit. Spalding also has offers from Indiana, Butler, Xavier, Boston College, Clemson, Northwestern, Tennessee and Vanderbilt. Now that he has an offer from Louisville, I’d say they’re now the heavy favorite.

Scout.com ranks Spalding as a four star prospect and ranks him as the 65th best player in the 2015 class.

Two In-State Prospects Took Unofficial Visits To Louisville Today

Photo | 247Sports.com

Photo | 247Sports.com

On Tuesday afternoon news broke that the Louisville basketball program would host two top 50 recruits, Deng Adel and Bryant Crawford, for unofficial visits on Wednesday and Thursday. It turns out Crawford and Adel weren’t the only two recruits that paid a visit to the UofL campus today.

In-state recruits Ray Spalding of Trinity High School and Eli Wright of Apollo High School in Owensboro are also on unofficial visits to Louisville today.

Louisville has shown interest in Spalding for the past few months, but have yet to extend a scholarship offer. The 6-foot-9 power forward has scholarship offers Indiana, Butler, Xavier, Boston College, Clemson, Northwestern, Tennessee and Vanderbilt.

Spalding took multiple unofficial visits to the KFC Yum! Center this past season. Louisville assistant Kenny Johnson has established a relationship and kept in contact with Spalding since joining Rick Pitino’s staff in April. Scout.com ranks Spalding as a four star prospect and ranks him as the 65th best player in the 2015 class. I’d expect Louisville to be the heavy favorite if they decide to extend a scholarship offer.

Wright is a junior-to-be and has been on the Louisville radar for quite some time now. The 6-foot-4, 180-pound, shooting guard has already taken one official visit to Louisville. Wright currently has scholarship offers from Mississippi State, UAB, Northern Kentucky and Western Kentucky. Purdue, Louisville and Tennessee have expressed interest, but haven’t offered scholarships yet.

The Owensboro native is considered to be one of the top prospects in the 2016 class from the state of Kentucky. He’s currently playing for the Western KY Sonics AAU club. I’m not sure if Wright will receive an offer anytime soon considering he’s still got two more years of high school ball left. However, I do think the Louisville staff will continue to evaluate him. Wyking Jones has been Louisville’s main recruiter for Wright.