Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Rumors continue to swirl on new Big East makeup

We're in the midst of the Big East tournament - the final in it's current status - but that hasn't stopped the rumors of the "Catholic 7" (who will be keeping the Big East name) adding teams and making a really deep Catholic based league.

On Wednesday the New York Post is reporting that long suspected targets Butler, Dayton, and Xavier will be joining the league for it's first season as an all Catholic league. Yes, hard to believe that Dayton is actually a Catholic school, huh?

That would give the league a very strong presence from the Northeast to the heart of the Midwest as well, but the new Big East may not be done there as the report also states that Creighton and Saint Louis could be added for 2014 to make it a 12 team all Catholic league.

What it would also do is bring in four of the top teams in the Atlantic 10, including this season's regular season champion - St. Louis, and the best team recently in the Missouri Valley Conference - Creighton.

In this basketball fans mind the newly reshaped Big East has the potential to be one of the best basketball conferences in the country. Not only because it's adding three and possibly five schools that are all recent NCAA tournament teams, but because it also gets rid of some of the biggest dead weight that was around in the old version of the Big East.

No longer will South Florida or Rutgers be on the schedule, traded in for teams that have actually made recent NCAA tournament appearances. USF and the Rutgers have made a combined nine NCAA tournaments and only four of them since 1990.

On the other hand the new additions of Butler, Dayton, and Xavier add a combined 28 appearances over the same time. Heck Butler alone boasts the same number of appearances and it was a member of a true mid-major league up until this past season.

Now it's up to the likes of St. John's, Seton Hall, Providence, and DePaul to really make up some ground. If they do and if they become contenders on a nearly annual basis for NCAA tournament births  this could be one of, if not the elite basketball league in the United States of America - yes ACC and Big Ten I'm aware of your statuses as of late.

For purest of college basketball this league could be a return to a focus on what's best for the game of basketball and a little less importance on what football means for a specific school and that couldn't come at a better time either.

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