May 16, 2012, 2:32 PM EDT
The ACC is now following in the footsteps of the Big East, expanding its conference tournament to include all 14 teams and run from Wednesday through Sunday during Championship Week, the league announced Wednesday afternoon.
The conference will include 14 teams once Pittsburgh and Syracuse leave the Big East and join the ACC.
The idea had reportedly been brought up at the conference’s fall meetings and was reportedly a focus for ACC commissioner John Swofford.
“The sense of the group is that we’ll look at every conceivable way to do a 14-team tournament,” Swofford told the Herald Sun in December. “The initial feeling is that it was important that every team be there, which will add a day. That could change lanes, but I think there was a pretty good sense from our ADs that the preference was all 14 be there.”
This move now makes the ACC tournament a five-day event for the first time in history. It was previously expanded from three to four days in the early 1990s, with the absorption of Florida State, and remained that way through the additions of Boston College, Miami, and Virginia Tech in the past decade.
Under the new plan, seeds 11-14 will begin play on Wednesday.
Recent weeks have been newsworthy for the conference, as chatter continues about the possibility of Florida State moving to the Big 12, as well as the signing of a television contract extension with ESPN that is worth a reported $3.6 billion over the next 15 years.
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