The topic of conference expansion has taken center stage for Big 12 basketball in the last couple of months. The Big 12 is at the forefront of the conference expansion conversation in the last few weeks, especially with the additions of the Colorado Buffaloes, Arizona Wildcats, Arizona State Sun Devils, and Utah Utes from the PAC-12.
Adding Colorado, Utah, and the Arizona schools brings the Big 12 to 16 member schools in 2024 and beyond. The Big 12 already added the Cincinnati Bearcats, UCF Knights, BYU Cougars, and Houston Cougars as new members to the conference starting in 2023.
Once the dust settles on the conference realignment moves already made affecting the Big 12 in 2024, half of the member schools will have only been in the mix for a year at most. That’s because the Texas Longhorns and Oklahoma Sooners will leave the Big 12 for the SEC in 2024.
Big 12 basketball expansion candidates from the ACC
Moreover, Big 12 commissioner Brett Yormark has emphasized basketball as one of the major factors to try and rebuild the conference in the modern era of the realignment discussion. Yormark is a former Brooklyn Nets president, so, unsurprisingly, basketball is a factor in his strategy for conference expansion as the Big 12 commissioner.
That could lead to the Big 12 looking at strong basketball schools if the conference expands from 16 to 18 schools shortly. And a potential poaching ground for the Big 12 could now be the ACC, which is trying to hold together its most valuable member schools amid rumors of the Florida State Seminoles pondering an exit.
With that in mind, here’s a look at three potential Big 12 conference expansion candidates among the strong basketball schools from the ACC.