Louisville coach Rick Pitino watches as Duke takes the lead late in an NCAA college basketball game at the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament, Saturday, Nov. 24, 2012, in Paradise Island, Bahamas. Duke won 76-71 to win the tournament. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
The Atlantic Coast Conference's presidents and chancellors have voted unanimously to add Louisville as the replacement for Maryland, a person familiar with the situation said Wednesday morning.
The person said ACC leaders also considered Connecticut and Cincinnati over the past week before choosing to add the Cardinals from the Big East. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the ACC has not publicly discussed future expansion plans.
The vote came during a conference call of ACC presidents and chancellors, the person said.
It's unclear exactly when Louisville will join the ACC. The Cardinals will be the seventh Big East school to leave for the ACC in the past decade.
The Big East has a 27-month notification period for any member that wants to leave, and a $5 million exit fee. The Big East has shown a willingness to negotiate, as it did with Pittsburgh and Syracuse, who paid $7.5 million each to get out early.
This latest rapid-fire round of realignment was set off last week by the Big Ten's additions of Maryland and Rutgers, which will join that conference in 2014.
On Tuesday, the Big East added Tulane for all sports and East Carolina for football only, also beginning in 2014.
Adding Louisville will bring the ACC to an even 14 full members, with Pittsburgh and Syracuse beginning conference play in 2013.
Two months ago, the ACC announced the addition of Notre Dame for all the conference's sports but football, with the fiercely independent Fighting Irish committing to play five ACC football opponents each season. Most of Notre Dame's non-football sports have competed in the Big East since 1995.
Louisville's addition will add some extra juice to what's already one of the nation's premier conferences for men's basketball.
Louisville, currently ranked No. 5, brings a tradition-rich program to the ACC that has won two national championships and reached its ninth Final Four last season. In addition, Rick Pitino will give the league another marquee coaching name alongside Duke's Mike Krzyzewski, North Carolina's Roy Williams and soon Jim Boeheim of Syracuse.
The school's football program is a win away from earning a BCS berth. Charlie Strong's Cardinals travel to Rutgers on Thursday night for a game in which they could clinch the Big East's BCS bid.
The ACC's decision to add Louisville is a blow for Connecticut, which had been looking for a landing spot since Pittsburgh and Syracuse announced their Big East exits. UConn President Susan Herbst had indicated that an invitation to join that ACC is something the school would welcome.
AP Sports Writer Joedy McCreary in Raleigh, N.C., contributed to this report.