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NCAAB · 23 days ago

What Cal, Stanford, & SMU Would Bring to the ACC in CBB

David Connelly - SportsGrid

David Connelly - SportsGrid

What Cal, Stanford, & SMU Would Bring to the ACC in CBB

Conference realignment continues to dominate the summer in collegiate athletics but with football as the sport in mind. The recent move to bring California, Stanford, and SMU to the ACC has caught all the headlines on the gridiron, while we’ve been left pondering what it may mean in college basketball.

Before transitioning to the ACC, we break down what each program brings to the conference.

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California Golden Bears – Dawning of a New Day in Berkeley?

For the first time in years, there is finally excitement surrounding Cal basketball. Hiring former Utah Valley head coach Mark Madsen was a big step in the right direction, and he hit the transfer portal running. Jaylon Tyson, Fardaws Aimaq, Keonte Kennedy, and Jalen Cone headline an incredibly talented group of players transferring in for the 2023-24 season. For the first time in a long while, it’s exciting to be a Bears fan in the world of college hoops.

Stanford Cardinal – A Sleeping Giant in the Sport

Stanford is far, far away from its glory days at the turn of the century when the Cardinal made the NCAA Tournament in 13 of 14 seasons from 1995 to 2008. They’ve had just one trip to March Madness in the 15 seasons since, and the program needs an overhaul. Head coach Jerod Haase remains one of the more puzzling hirings as the program has been stuck in neutral since he arrived in 2016. This is a great time to buy low for the ACC, as Stanford still has the resources and history to become a dominant force in the sport.

SMU – Competitive Program with Occasional Upside

Although the Mustangs don’t have a rich history of basketball tradition at the school, they have shown the program can reach a new ceiling in recent years. The mid-2010s brought a run of four consecutive seasons where they reached the AP Top 25 while achieving at least 25 wins across those four seasons. The school may not be a threat in the conference right out of the gate, but the culture surrounding the basketball program is as good as ever.

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