Xavier University and Butler University will reportedly be joining the Catholic 7 schools that are breaking away from the Big East, according to Michael Hunt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. The Musketeers and Bulldogs, who both play in the Atlantic 10, may be joined by either one or three other schools to form a new, 10-12 team, basketball-centric conference. Those teams are reportedly Creighton, Virginia Commonwealth, Dayton, and St. Louis.
Georgetown, St. Johns, Seton Hall, Marquette, Providence, DePaul, and Villanova decided to break away from the Big East on Thursday night, after years of friction between the basketball and football sides of the conference and a revolving door of Big East football membership. The addition of Tulane earlier this fall was reportedly the breaking point for the basketball schools to pursue forming their own conference.
The addition of Xavier and Butler, who has been to two consecutive Final Fours, would make the new basketball conference one of the best in the nation. The new league is expected to begin play next season.