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In the midst of conference re-alignment, the Big East became a revolving door as the "Catholic 7" of Georgetown, Villanova, DePaul, Marquette, St. John's, Providence and Seton Hall separated from the rest of their conference; the Catholic 7 then added Xavier and Butler from the Atlantic 10 in addition to Creighton from the Missouri Valley Conference to form a 10-team conference.
Despite sending five teams to the tournament last year, the A-10 has historically been regarded as a second-tier conference full of mid-majors. Xavier has achieved sustained success in the postseason that has exceeded the expectations for most mid-majors.
Xavier has 11 NCAA tournament berths in the past 13 seasons; the Musketeers have had three Sweet 16 and two Elite Eight appearances in that stretch. The Muskies will get the opportunity to take their program to the next level in the Big East.
The Big East is still one of the better basketball conferences, regardless if many fans add the qualifier "new" in front of it.
Butler has proven that it's a program capable of making deep runs in the tournament.
Georgetown returns the majority of its roster from a Hoya team that had a 25-7 record and tied for a Big East Championship last year.
Creighton's senior forward Doug McDermott will be one of the preseason National Player of the Year favorites after averaging more than 23 points and nearly eight rebounds per game last season.
Plus, ESPN Bracketologist Joe Lunardi projects for five Big East teams to make next season's tournament in his first 2013-14 bracket.
The Big East Tournament will be held in Madison Square Garden, and ESPN New York reporter Kieran Darcy reported that the Big East agreed to a 12-year deal with Fox Sports.
The combination of star players, tournament-bound teams, major venues and multi-year television deals means that Xavier will have more national exposure than ever before.