Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
With the Big 12 potentially on the verge of collapse, the Big East Conference is once again looking at becoming still bigger.
According to multiple reports, the Big East is considering adding Kansas, Kansas State and Missouri should the Big 12 falter. That, in turn, would bring the Big East to 12 football teams and 20 — that’s right, 20, — basketball teams. (TCU joins the league in 2012.)
These reports mirror an SNY.tv report from a year ago saying that the Big East would have targeted the aforementioned three schools, plus Iowa State, had the Big 12 disbanded in 2010.
“Obviously we’re monitoring the landscape,” Big East commissioner John Marinatto told The New York Post. “We’re very aware of the situation and will continue to do what’s in the best interests of the Big East Conference.”
The Post reported that the league is targeting Nov. 1, 2012 as the date by which it hopes to present a 12-team football league to TV networks with an eye toward securing a package similar to the $4 billion deal recently signed by the Pac-12.
Under that scenario, the league would have two 6-team divisions, with Kansas, Kansas State, Missouri, Cincinnati, Louisville and TCU in the West Division, and UConn, Rutgers, Syracuse, Pitt, South Florida and West Virginia in the East, the Post reported.
The division winners would meet in a conference championship game, similar to what the SEC and other leagues now have.
The huge basketball league would then have four five-team divisions. Each team would play a home-and-home with every team in its division, plus crossover games with teams in other divisions. Some teams would not play other teams in a given year.
All of this is still in flux, however, and depends on whether Texas A&M ultimately leaves the Big 12 for the SEC.
But with the Pac-12 potentially expanding down the road to a Pac-16 that could include Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and perhaps two Texas schools, a 20-team basketball league doesn’t seem wildly crazy.
Meantime, ACC commissioner John Swofford quashed reports that Texas, Syracuse, UConn and Rutgers were heading to the Atlantic Coast Conference.
“I need to read more to see what we’re doing,” Swofford said to CBSSports.com. “That’s news to me.”
Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.