Could there be two Big East teams in the Battle for Atlantis?

Kevin Jairaj-US PRESSWIRE

Tournament organizers will need to file a waiver with the NCAA to maintain its exempt status.

When the 2013 Battle 4 Atlantis list of schools was announced in October of 2012, many Villanova fans looked at the participating teams with excitement. The potential matchups would feature opponents from other BCS power conferences as well as the WAC and the Atlantic 10; a definite opportunity to bulk the non-conference strength of schedule.

For background, the exempt status of the Battle 4 Atlantis allows participating schools to count all games in the tournament as only one against the 27 game limit mandated by the NCAA. However, only one team per conference is allowed to be in the exempt tournament.

Everything was going to plan until the new BIG EAST was formed earlier in March which included both Villanova and former A-10 school, Xavier.

Due to conference realignment, Battle 4 Atlantis needs to ask for a waiver to host both the Wildcats and Musketeers in the 2013 version of the Tournament. In the wake of Conference Realignment for the past 3 years a similar situation has already occurred.

When Wet Virginia bolted the BIG EAST for the Big12 in the summer of 2012, they had already been booked in the Old Spice Classic. So had Oklahoma. With two Big12 schools in the tournament, organizers of the Old Spice Classic presumably asked for, and were granted, a waiver.

If a waiver isn't received, then one of two things happens:

  1. The tournament needs to drop one of the two Big East schools; OR
  2. It won't be an "exempt" tournament, meaning that the participating schools can only play a maximum of 27 games in 2013-14, including the games they play at the tournament.

This is the hottest exempt tournament that schools are clamoring to be a part of. Besides the tropical Bahaman location, the tournament not only pays for the teams' travel, room, and board expenses, but a cash payout to the the institution's general scholarship fund.

In 2012, each of the participating schools received a minimum of $150,000. Making the final added another $200k (third & fourth place took home $50k, and fifth & sixth grabbed and additional $25k). The Tournament Director has mentioned that the B4A is practically scheduled for the next four years.

Although it could be weird to face Xavier three times before the Conference Tournament, let's hope both schools get the opportunity to play in the Battle 4 Atlantis.

If you're interested in attending the tournament, it is scheduled for November 27th thru December 1. Packages are already being sold at www.villanovasportstravel.com.

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