GREENSBORO -

  Notre Dame is joining the Atlantic Coast Conference a season earlier than expected, following the split among the Big East's football schools and seven Catholic schools that are leaving to form a basketball-focused conference.
   
Notre Dame announced the move Tuesday, six months after it surprised the college sports world by opting to join the ACC in all sports except football and hockey.
   
Tuesday's move means Notre Dame will join the ACC at the same time as fellow Big East members Pittsburgh and Syracuse, which announced earlier they would join the league. Louisville is expected to join the ACC after next season.
   
The move means Notre Dame coaches can move forward with scheduling for the 2013-14 school year.