Is a Big Ten/Big East hoops agreement in the works?

Reid Compton-US PRESSWIRE

Don't hold your breath to see a Big Ten event in the 2013-14 season, but going forward, an arrangement could be on the table.

The Big Ten is moving east, while the new Big East has a more midwestern footprint than ever before. It is only natural that the two leagues would eventually find some synergy. According to ESPN's Andy Katz, the Big Ten is looking for scheduling options that will help their new eastern members (Maryland and Rutgers) out, and the Big East is potentially a partner.

The idea is in its infancy, but many new Big East schools are already locked into agreements with the Big Ten. Butler plays both Indiana and Purdue on a rotating basis, Marquette plays Wisconsin, Creighton takes on Nebraska, and Rutgers will continue to play Seton Hall. Adding Ohio State vs. Xavier and Penn State vs. Villanova to the slate seems easy enough as well, though convincing Maryland and Georgetown to break their scheduling deadlock may be a challenge.

Television interest wasn't mentioned by Katz, but the Big Ten/ACC challenge that already exists has been heavily promoted by TV-partner ESPN. There is no indication that that challenge series would come to an end either, so the Big East arrangement, if it happens, would be in addition to the Big Ten's existing arrangements.

According to Katz, the Big Ten will take a look at the Big East over the next year before deciding whether trying to work out a scheduling deal makes sense for their league. With strength of schedule and travel concerns at the forefront, however, a geographically-overlapping partnership with the Big East could give both leagues a boost in the future -- if the new Big East can prove it's strength on the court.

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