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Big East will have 15 for basketball in 2012-13



With West Virginia out and Temple officially on board to join the Big East, but not until 2013-14 in non-football sports, the conference will have 15 teams for basketball next season, creating another odd bracket for its conference tournament.

Just as you've gotten used to the 16-team model with its byes and double-byes, the Big East will have a new model next year -- three games on Tuesday, with four teams earning double-byes to the quarterfinals and five teams also getting the first day off. The No. 8 and 9 seeds now have a bye but will play each other, losing the advantage of going up against a team that has just played the day before.

As it stands, the league would have 13 football members in 2013 (Cincinnati, Connecticut, Louisville, Rutgers, USF; Temple, UCF, Houston, Southern Miss, Boise State, San Diego State, Memphis, Navy) and as many as 20 for basketball in 2013-14 if Pittsburgh and Syracuse are held from joining the ACC earlier than the Big East has indicated. If no other schools leave, it clears the way for those two to leave the league after the 2012-13 season for a simpler yet still unprecedented 18-team model. The league is still looking to arrive at a 14-team lineup for football, with the next addition likely filling out a Western division.

[Last modified: Wednesday, March 7, 2012 7:20pm]


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