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Why major conference realignment may be over for the foreseeable future

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The ACC has reportedly agreed to a 15-team grant of media rights deal that will extend through the 2026-2027 season. The news was first reported by David Glenn but has since been confirmed by multiple outlets.

If this report turns out to be true and this agreement is signed by the schools in the ACC, it could end major conference realignment for quite some time.

For those that don’t know, a grant of media rights is a simple concept: it’s an agreement that grants the rights to the television broadcasts for the school to the conference for a certain period of time. What that means is that if North Carolina, for example, were to leave the ACC after this agreement was signed, all of the money that they would stand to receive from TV contracts would go back to the ACC until 2027. Seeing as the entire reason behind conference realignment was the result of the differences in revenue generated by TV contracts, a grant of media rights contract is the best way to lock a team into a league.

Look at it like this: the grant of media rights deal last for 14 more years. At an average of, let’s say, $20 million a year generated in TV revenue, leaving the ACC this summer would cost a school $280 million. That ain’t happening.

Remember when the Big 12 was dropped to 10 teams and everyone thought the conference was getting ready to implode? They signed a grant of media rights deal. They are doing just fine.

The ACC was the league that everyone expected would be the next to get raided. Depending on where you looked, you could find everyone from Florida State and Georgia Tech, to Clemson and Virginia, and even UNC getting tied up in ‘they are going to be leaving the ACC’ rumors. If the Big Ten wanted to expand, grabbing the North Carolina and Atlanta TV markets wasn’t a bad way to go about doing it.

But that looks like it is about to end.

So with the ACC and the Big 12 locked into a grant of media rights deal and with the Pac-12, Big Ten and SEC making money hand over fist with their TV networks, it looks like major conference realignment may be coming to a halt.

This is good news for everyone … except Cincinnati, South Florida and UConn.

Looks like they’re going to be stuck in the AAC for quite some time.

You can find Rob on twitter @RobDauster.

Rick Pitino: ‘We should be penalized … but not this team’

Rick Pitino
(AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley)
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One of the biggest storylines of Saturday’s college basketball schedule had everything to do with a team that no longer matters in the championship picture.

Less than 24 hours after being informed that the school would be imposing a postseason ban that will leave the Cardinals out of the ACC and NCAA tournaments, No. 19 Louisville tipped off against Boston College, and they did so without leading scorer Damion Lee, who is battling a knee issue.

How would the team respond to the decision — the despicable, shameful decision — that the university’s president made?

Well, it seems.

The Cardinals jumped out to a 19-2 lead in the first eight minutes and cruised to a 79-47 win over an overmatched Boston College team in the Yum! Center.

And head coach Rick Pitino, after the quote, said exactly what everyone is thinking.

“We should be penalized, no question about it,” he said. “But not this team. But the NCAA didn’t make that decision. We made that decision.”

He’s totally right. The school sacrificed the season — and the only shot that a pair of fifth-year seniors would get to play in the NCAA tournament — to protect the school, the brand and the bottom-line moving forward. Like I said earlier, it’s despicable.

But credit the Cardinals for responding.

Because they still have something on the line. They’re just a game out of first place in the ACC, and while an ACC regular season title isn’t a shot to play in the ACC or NCAA tournament, it’s still a banner that would probably mean more to Damion Lee and Trey Lewis than any league title has meant to a Louisville player before.

Oklahoma State without Jawun Evans, questionable moving forward

Oklahoma State guard Jawun Evans (1) goes up for a shot between Kansas forward Jamari Traylor (31) and forward Perry Ellis (34) in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in Stillwater, Okla., Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2016. Oklahoma State won 86-67. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
(AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
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Oklahoma State’s star point guard was not in the lineup on Saturday against No. 13 Iowa State.

Evans injured his shoulder in the Cowboys’ loss at Texas Tech on Wednesday and was ruled out of Saturday’s game.

According to the school, his official status moving forward is questionable. The Pokes are just 11-11 on the season and likely need to earn the Big 12’s at-large bid to get into the NCAA tournament. It makes sense to let him get healthy.

Evans was averaging 12.9 points, 4.9 assists and 4.4 boards this season, but he had been arguably the best point guard in the Big 12 during league play, averaging 15.6 points and 5.6 assists.