Cincinnati pushing to join ACC

Cincinnati is making a strong push to gain admittance to the ACC with a campaign about why the school is a more viable option than fellow Big East members Connecticut and Louisville, a source with knowledge of the situation told ESPN.

The source said Cincinnati officials are cautiously optimistic that the Bearcats are in step with both Louisville and UConn if the ACC were to choose just one school to replace Maryland, which is headed to the Big Ten.

Multiple sources told ACCSports.com late Tuesday the conference presidents and chancellors plan to vote on the league's expansion candidates beginning at 7 a.m. ET Wednesday. The teleconference vote was later confirmed for ESPN by Brett McMurphy.

An ACC source said Cincinnati has stepped up the push to get into the ACC in light of the Big East adding Tulane as an all-sports member and East Carolina in football on Tuesday.

In making its case to the ACC, Cincinnati used a combination of athletic and academic qualifications, including how well its football and men's basketball teams have done as well as the size of its endowment and place in national rankings of top universities. Among the points Cincinnati made:

The source said the conference could replace Maryland with one or go for two or three to combat possible defections.

• The Bearcats were one of only six teams to finish in the top 25 of the final USA Today football and men's basketball polls (joining Michigan, Michigan State, Florida State, Baylor and Wisconsin).

• Ohio is a new and fertile recruiting ground and expands the geographic footprint of the ACC. Ohio had the fifth-most NCAA Division I football signees in 2012.

• Cincinnati's endowment is more than $1 billion, which is 26th nationally and more than six members of the ACC, and twice the size of Maryland's.

• The school is tied for 34th among public research universities, according to the Center for Measuring University Performance. That's in line with several other ACC schools.

• Cincinnati has nine Fortune 500 companies in the area plus is the 35th-ranked TV market.