Conference Realignment Paranoia Trickling Down to Mid-Major Basketball

With conference instability still a major topic of conversation, a few key members of the mid-major basketball world have started the same maneuvering and bracing for impact we've seen from BCS football programs across the country over the past couple of months.

There have already been multiple rumors that if the Big East were to lose, say, Louisville, West Virginia and Cincinnati to the Big 12, a handful of the private non-football playing members of the conference would look to form a basketball league with some of the top-tier programs from Conference USA and the Atlantic-10. Perennial mid-major powerhouses like the Colonial Athletic Association's VCU, George Mason and Old Dominion would likely also become targets.

None of this is lost on Hofstra president Stuart Rabinowitz who, according to The New York Times, has contacted the A-10's Charlotte, Richmond and George Washington, as well as Boston University out of the America East about possibly joining the CAA. The Times is also reporting that the A-10, which currently sits at 14 teams, has expressed some "informal interest" in the possibility of adding George Mason and VCU.

"There are still so many uncertainties," Tom Yeager, the Colonial Athletic Association commissioner, said. "I think everyone is trying to get a grip on where it’s going. We’re all studying the possibilities. The hardest thing is managing your own people to just not run through a lot of useless energy or getting overly worried about, ‘What are we doing?’ "

The realignment soap opera, which has been received as totally needless by 95% of the sports world, having this sort of affect on mid-major basketball would be an especially disappointing development. The fact that Missouri's potential move to the SEC could be the blow that ultimately ends a conference basketball rivalry between Boston and Vermont is a bitter pill to swallow for college hoops fans.

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