BOZICH | Duke players happy Louisville helps make ACC top hoops - WDRB 41 Louisville News

BOZICH | Duke players happy Louisville helps make ACC top hoops league

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WDRB) – A year ago Syracuse, Notre Dame and Pittsburgh arrived to strengthen the sagging fortunes of Atlantic Coast Conference basketball.

The Big Ten had dribbled past Tobacco Road in those Toughest League in the Country debates. The Big East, before it splintered, was also drawing more love.

Now another heavyweight – the University of Louisville – is primed to make its debut, a debut that began Wednesday with the Cards' appearance at ACC Media Day at the Westin Hotel in downtown Charlotte.

Check the pre-season coaches' Top 25. You'll find four ACC teams – Duke (3rd), North Carolina (6th), Virginia (8th) and Louisville (9th) – in the Top 10. No other league has more than two in the Top 10.

If you ask two Duke players, guard Quinn Cook and forward Amile Jefferson, the addition of Rick Pitino's program puts the ACC on top again.

“I think it's great for the ACC,” Jefferson said. “We're going to have one of the best conferences out there this year. It's going to be really competitive. It's going to be a great game every night in the ACC somewhere.

“I think it's really good they've come to the league. It's going to make it really challenging and really competitive.”

Even though the Cards thumped the Blue Devils, 85-63, in the NCAA Tournament Midwest Regional championship game in Indianapolis on the way to the 2013 national championship.

“It's great,” Cook said “It's great. Since I've been at Duke we've played them two times and they've been two epic games.

“It's a great program. They'll be a good team this year. Just to add those guys, along with Syracuse and Pitt, it's incredible.”

A better league than the Big Ten?

“Without a doubt,” Cook said.

Cook smiled.

“Without a doubt, no disrespect to Big Ten.”

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