The seven Catholic, basketball-only schools of the Big East — DePaul, Georgetown, Marquette, Providence, Seton Hall, St. John’s and Villanova – recently decided to split from the rest of the conference and take the Big East name with them.
Once that decision was made, the next step to take was to figure out when to break away from the schools that are set to focus on football in the future.
The new Big East will reportedly be announcing a June 30 departure, as well as the addition of 2-3 new members, in the next 7-10 days.
Seven schools that only play basketball (that’s an exaggeration; the schools do play ancillary sports, but football is the major driving force behind nearly every athletic program in the nation) do not make a conference, however. During that announcement, the Big East also intends to finally put to rest all speculation as to whom its new members will be.
According to ESPN’s Andy Katz, there have been no confirmations as of yet, but there are a number of favorites. Butler is expected to leave the Atlantic-10 after just one season, and might be joined by fellow A-10 member Xavier. Creighton of the Missouri Valley also wants in, and should the Big East choose to expand further, Dayton, St. Louis and Richmond are all potential candidates to bring it to 12 programs.