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Catholic 7 to start nBIG EAST in Summer


CBS is reporting that an announcement is expected today that the Catholic-7, Villanova, Georgetown, Providence, Marquette, Seton Hall, St. John's, and DePaul, will begin their newBIG EAST conference on July 1st.

In the inaugural year, Xavier and Butler are expected to join the conference- which will retain the BIG EAST name and conference tournament at Madison Square Garden. Creighton is slated to join in the 2014-15 season.

According to ESPN,

...the new league still has to pursue expansion, conduct a commissioner search, draft league bylaws, and complete fall championship planning. Thursday's announcement is the finality of the exit.

They are expected to agree to play a 16-game round-robin schedule next season, according to ESPN's Andy Katz. That means that the seven former-and-future Big East schools, including Villanova, will have to find two more non-conference games for 2013-14. The current Big East plays an 18-game schedule, so it is unlikely that the schools will have scheduled the additional non-conference games.

Fox would probably prefer to have an 18-game schedule, but that would require a bigger expansion than what they have settled at the moment.