Duke basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski is an outspoken critic of the realignment and expansion underway in college sports. When his Duke team meets Louisville on the basketball court today, it will do so as NCAA Tournament rivals battling it out to go to the Final Four. But when the Cardinals move to the ACC in 2014, these two teams will meet regularly as conference rivals. He was asked about the changes at a Saturday news conference.
For all these schools that have joined, it makes us the most powerful basketball conference, I think, ever. And I hope our league is able to understand the assets that we’ve accumulated and what it does to the assets we already have. I think if positioned properly, it sets us apart from anybody. And we shouldn’t look at where football is or whatever. We have the best assets as a result of Louisville, Syracuse, Pitt, Notre Dame, and the assets we have — we’re joining together. I mean, we better know how to make use of it.
In a follow-up question, Krzyzewski showed he’s not only a coach, but thinking more like a conference commissioner. In a football-first world, he’s putting the focus on the marketing of college basketball.
Does our conference develop its own TV network? Where we play the tournament — when do we play the tournament? How do we position our regular season? How do we have the teams play schedules that are worthy of being considered for NCAA consideration? In other words, (we need) to take a real close look at our league with the new members and say: Why are we different, why are we better, and how can we be the top league?
In addition to the schools scheduled to join the ACC, the conference is losing Maryland to the Big Ten. However, as we told you this week, Maryland’s move is being held up in court.