A look at candidates to join ‘Catholic 7′
by Scott M Gleeson, USA TODAY Sports
The seven non-football members of the Big East Conference officially announced their departure from the league on Saturday.
In a statement released on behalf of seven school presidents, the reasoning was for “new basketball framework.”
Now, we’re left wondering just what that framework will look like.
DePaul, Georgetown, Marquette, Providence, St. John’s, Seton Hall and Villanova have been dubbed the “Catholic 7″ as they’re in limbo with their conference future.
The goal of all seven schools is an obvious one: build a new basketball power conference made up of Catholic, non-football schools similar to the now-former Big East powers.
While much of the speculation originally circulated around what teams would replace those schools in the Big East, perhaps an even more important question moving forward is who will join these schools rich in a newly established league to form one of the best college basketball conferences in the country.
There have been multiple reports of future outcomes, but all of the realignment is still very much premature. Here’s a look at potential schools that could join the now infamous “Catholic 7″ in the very near future (sometime this week):
Xavier: The Milwaukee-Journal Sentinel reported last week that Xavier and Butler of the Atlantic 10 were strong the strongest candidates to join the seven departing Big East schools based on their basketball prowess. Xavier, a Jesuit/Catholic university with 23 NCAA tournament appearances in its history, is strikingly similar to many of the departed Big East schools. Atlantic 10 university presidents are scheduled to meet next week “with the intent of solidifying commitments of its membership,” via The Cincinnati Enquirer.
Butler: It would seem that Butler would be the last team on the planet to want a conference move after joining the A-10 this season following its move from the Horizon League. But in many ways, Butler would be a perfect fit, meeting the suggested criteria of a new 10-12 league. Butler’s a private school with a rich hoops history that includes back-to-back Final Fours. They’ve just recently gravitated away from Cinderella mid-major to let hoops fans expect an upset, evidenced by<a … [For more on A look at the potential candidates to join 'Catholic 7', click here.]