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Louisville to ACC; UConn scrambles

The Atlantic Coast Conference announced Wednesday that its presidents and chancellors unanimously voted to add Louisville as the replacement for Maryland.

ACC Commissioner John Swofford said Louisville was the best fit for the league following Maryland’s announcement last week that it would join the Big Ten in 2014.

“When you look at Louisville, you see a university and an athletic program that has all the arrows pointed up — a tremendous uptick there, tremendous energy,” Swofford said on a teleconference. “It’s always an overall fit in every respect and I think that’s what we found.”

Louisville is the fourth school in 15 months and seventh in the past decade to leave the Big East for the ACC.

Louisville athletic director Tom Jurich said it was hard not to worry about constantly shifting conference alignments and whether the school might be left out when everything finally settles.

“We wanted to make sure all our opportunities were looked at,” Jurich said. “But having the opportunity to go into the ACC is I think second to none, especially for our community around here. … I can just tell you from our standpoint, we couldn’t be in a better fit.”

The ACC’s decision to add Louisville is a blow for Connecticut, which had been looking for a landing spot since Pittsburgh and Syracuse announced their Big East exits in September 2011. UConn President Susan Herbst had indicated that an invitation to join the ACC is something the school would welcome.

“We will be athletically successful, regardless of our conference, because of our successes in NCAA competition,” Herbst said in a statement. “… I realize this is a difficult day, but when we focus on research, discovery, and student success, we’ll never go wrong.”

Middle Tenn. to C-USA

A person familiar with the situation says Middle Tennessee has accepted an offer to join Conference USA and is leaving the Sun Belt.

Middle Tennessee announced it will hold a news conference on campus Thursday but did not say what it was in regards to.