The Big East will soon be announcing that the basketball conference has gotten back up to 10 teams. The “Catholic 7” basketball schools finished the conference breakup last week, allowing the football schools to go their separate ways while keeping the Big East conference name.
Down to seven teams, Georgetown, St. Johns, DePaul, Villanova, Marquette, Providence, and Seton Hall the Big East knew it needed to add a few teams to stay recognized as one of the premier power conferences in college basketball.
It appears that the conference has managed to add three of the better teams from lesser conferences. The conference is expected to announce its new additions by the beginning of the NCAA tournament next week.
While official announcements haven’t been made yet, reports indicate that Xavier and Butler will be joining the conference, leaving their current 16-team Atlantic 10. Butler had just joined the Atlantic 10 this season after playing for decades in the Horizon League.
The former mid-major has made itself a household name thanks to making itself into the Gonzaga of the midwest with trips to the final four and regular upsets of bigger schools. While the Atlantic 10 has certainly been a decent power in college basketball, the addition to the Big East would put Butler on one of the college basketabll world’s biggest stage.
The third team to join the restructured conference is rumored to be Omaha, Nebraska based Creighton University. Creighton comes out of the Missouri Valley conference, a mid-major conference that had been bragging about how long it had managed to stay unchanged.
All of these announcements seem contingent on the paperwork officially being signed and the announcements being made but at this point the moves seem to be a done deal. Whether or not the conference will continue to expand after it gets to 10 teams remains to be seen.
The Big East has also begun the process of bringing in a new commissioner and that job is expected to be filled in the next 6-10 weeks.