... and it took a year longer than expected.
When the Atlantic Coast Conference decided to expand from 9 to 12 schools, I had no qualms with adding Miami and Virginia Tech. They were already in-state rivals for Florida State and Virginia. But inviting Boston College made no sense; it was in the heart of the Big East, and had no history with the closest ACC school, Maryland. (I would have preferred West Virginia or South Carolina.)
BC has done well in its first ACC season, finishing among the top 5 in football in the top 3 in men's basketball. But it still didn't feel like Beantown was part of the league. Until now.
Three ACC teams -- Maryland, Duke, and North Carolina -- join LSU in the women's Final Four. Suddenly this conference has stolen the spotlight in a sport dominated by the SEC and the Big East, and gets showcased this weekend in Big East territory. It's an early indicator of how strong a presence the ACC exerts along the East Coast.
A special mention goes out to that non-ACC team, LSU, which managed to double dip after all, placing both its men and women in the Final Four. While not exactly heroic a feat, it does give a very overcrowded Baton Rouge something to smile about.