In news that should shock no one, the so-called Catholic 7 is reportedly set to expand to 10 teams sometime next week.
UPDATE: Tuesday, March 19 at 2:48 p.m. ET by Richard Langford
NBC's Daniel Martin tweeted about an upcoming announcement regarding the Big East:
Release: New Big East to announce "milestone developments" at News Corp building in Manhattan tmrw. Fox Sports + MSG reps will be there.— Daniel Martin (@DanielJMartin_) March 19, 2013
We may not have to wait until tomorrow to find out what these "milestone developments" are.
The Indianapolis Star's David Woods, who covers Butler basketball, passed along this juicy tidbit:
Breaking: Fox Sports will announce #Butler, Xavier & Creighton as new Big East members at NYC news conference tomorrow.— David Woods (@DavidWoods007) March 19, 2013
---End of update---
The Chicago Tribune's Brian Hamilton confirmed on Friday what many have been expecting for the past few weeks and even months:
If all goes to plan, and few expect it won't, DePaul and the so-called Catholic 7 will swell into a 10-team league by the middle of next week.
The additions of Xavier, Butler and Creighton should become official by Wednesday or Thursday, according to sources familiar with the talks. And thus the new Big East would take shape for 2013-14.
The league, which will be taking over the "Big East" name and continue to hold its end-of-the-season basketball tournament at Madison Square Garden (via ESPN), will now likely consist of Butler, Creighton, DePaul, Georgetown, Marquette, Providence, Seton Hall, Saint John's, Villanova and Xavier.
First of all, this potential move represents yet another step toward college basketball's pantheon for former unknown darling Butler.
Where will this potential 10-team league rank among college basketball's conferences?
After winning over America as a Cinderella out of the Horizon League, the Bulldogs moved to the Atlantic 10, and in their first season in 2012, they have impressed.
Now, a move to the same conference as powerhouses like Georgetown, Marquette and even Villanova will prove whether or not Brad Stevens' squad belongs with the nation's elite. Going from the Horizon League to the Big East in a matter of years is a truly impressive rise to the top.
Creighton and Xavier will get a similar opportunity.
Both basketball schools have made considerable national noise over the past few years, and a move to a bigger, more prominent league can only be seen as a positive development for each program.
While many are disappointed with the dissolution of the historic Big East conference, this newest development suggests that the "Catholic 7 Plus Three," or "New Big East," or whatever you want to call it will be a major force in the college-hoops world.