The Big East is back. And while it might not be better than ever, it’s got a much more promising future than many would have guessed six months ago.
Ten schools — the “Catholic Seven” defections from the old Big East, plus Butler, Xavier and Creighton — have announced the official formation of the new conference, which will begin operations July 1. The new basketball-centric conference keeps the “Big East” name, will hold its annual tournament at Madison Square Garden and has a 12-year TV contract with Fox Sports.
The announcement gave closure to a long period of speculation and rumors about the Catholic Seven’s future. In the end, much of the speculation ended up being accurate, though some will be mildly surprised at the inclusion of Creighton rather than St. Louis, Dayton or Virginia Commonwealth.
After confirming that 10 schools will compete in the conference next year, Providence College President Rev. Brian Shanley left the possibility of expansion open.