The biggest surprise from ESPN's release of its Big Monday schedule on Wednesday was one of the schools that did not make the cut.
Notre Dame will not make a single appearance on Big Monday next season despite returning a handful of key players from a team that not only reached the Elite Eight but also fell just a basket shy of upsetting unbeaten Kentucky to advance to the Final Four.
The exclusion of the Irish probably reflects the strength of the ACC more than it does questions about Notre Dame's ability to replace stars Jerian Grant and Pat Connaughton. A core of guards Demetrius Jackson and Steve Vasturia and forward Zach Auguste should be enough to help the Irish begin the season in the AP Top 25 and end the season in the upper half of the ACC standings.
Notre Dame is the most high-profile of the eight ACC teams that won't appear on Big Monday next season, though Pittsburgh probably can't be thrilled being excluded either. Kansas State, Texas Tech and TCU are the only three Big 12Read More »from Notre Dame is the most high-profile Big Monday snub