Busting Brackets

NCAA Basketball: Who won the week in college basketball? Summer Edition 3

Mar 22, 2015; Notre Dame, IN, USA; A view of the ACC logo on the key before the game between the Notre Dame Fighting Irish and the DePaul Blue Demons in the first half of the game at Edmund P. Joyce Center. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 22, 2015; Notre Dame, IN, USA; A view of the ACC logo on the key before the game between the Notre Dame Fighting Irish and the DePaul Blue Demons in the first half of the game at Edmund P. Joyce Center. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports /

Nigel Hayes…John Calipari…Who’s our third winner of the week in NCAA Basketball?

It’s the summer, so figuring out which player, or team, or mascot, or fan base, or conference, or commissioner, or Plumlee won the week is a little more difficult than it is once November rolls around. 

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But even in the off-season, there are still a plethora of winners in college basketball if you know where to look. So I took it upon myself to dive deep into collegiate news feeds, Twitter, Reddit, Instagram, Vine and Snapchat in hopes of giving the Busting Brackets faithful what they want.

 Every week we will choose one thing that won the week. At the end of the off-season, we’ll have a tournament/vote to figure out who/what in college basketball won the summer.

Last week, John Calipari brought home the hardware. Who won this week? America’s best college basketball conference.

ACC Basketball never sleeps!

And how could it? The ACC is — once again — going to be the best basketball conference in the NCAA (don’t even try arguing against it). Have you seen what Duke, UNC, Virginia, Louisville and Miami has going on?

It’s littered with some of the greatest basketball coaches this game has ever seen. And because of their touted grandeur, said coaches continue to land wave after wave after wave of future NBA talents (Harry Giles, Dennis Smith Jr., Tony Bradley, and V.J. King are just a few of the top-100 players that will all be joining the ACC this fall).

It’s no wonder that the Atlantic Coast Conference and ESPN have finally given all of us basketball junkies — at long last — the fix we’ve been craving:

"The long-awaited ACC Network will launch by August 2019, with the Atlantic Coast Conference and ESPN agreeing to a 20-year deal and rights extension through the 2035-36 academic year in an announcement made Thursday."

Now I know some of you (i.e. non-ACC fans) might be asking yourselves, “So, the ACC got a network… big deal? The University of Texas has their own network… like for themselves… that just airs their stuff… LIKE ALL THE TIME… why did the ACC win the week for getting a network that wont start until 2019 over Bill Walton playing Pokemon Go in some giant field with tipi’s?”

And I understand that. But the ACC getting their own network means more money to the conference (numbers are flying around that each school could add $5 million to $8 million per year) and its universities. This hopefully, in turn, means better opportunities, such as up-to-date facilities for all collegiate sports and educational guidance and assistance for all of the student athletes that decide to attend one of the fifteen connected schools.

It means that the ACC is now stable in this ever evolving college landscape that we find ourselves in currently. It means that they just stepped over the (panicking) Big-12 and Pac-12 conferences and immediately planted deep, unmovable roots into the ground.

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Need more proof beyond “getting a network”?

With the announcement of the network came another little nugget of news that the ACC also extended it’s conference’s grant of rights deal nine years through 2035-26, meaning it’s financially “untenable” for a school to leave.

Great… what does that mean.

Well, none of the current members will be able to break off and join the SEC or Big Ten whenever they decide to start building their Megazord conferences. But more importantly, it means that if Notre Dame decides to forgo their football independence in the next 20 years, they are now contracted to join the ACC.

Now I know that this doesn’t mean much in terms of basketball (as Notre Dame is already a proud, honorable member of the ACC), but for the conference to now have a great chance of landing THE crown jewel of the future “Super Conference Free Agency” is ground breaking.

If and when the Fighting Irish decide to join the mega conference football playoff pizza party in the next decade or so, they won’t be joining the Big Ten, or the Big-12, or the SEC or the Mountain West or the MAC. The Golden Domers will be taking their legendary football prowess to the A-C-C.

That’s YUGE.

And if that wasn’t enough, the greatest and deepest college basketball conference in the world ALSO announced that starting in 2019 (when the network will be full functioning), that they will be moving from “18 to 20 conference men’s basketball games”.

So long cupcakes.

All of this is to establish total brand and staying power. The ACC isn’t playing around. They’re not taking any chances. They know they have a great collegiate athletics product and they just guaranteed that it will be staying around for the next two decades.

Next: Big 12 basketball possible expansion options

And anytime a conference slams their flag in the amateur sports ground and claims the third strongest spot behind only the Big Ten and the SEC, well, you didn’t just win the week… you quite possibly just won the next two decades.