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 (William Hauser)
(William Hauser)

NEW YORK -- The Big East Tournament will have some major competition in the Big Apple over the next two years, and Seton Hall coach Kevin Willard thinks that's "cute."

After playing its postseason tournament in Washington, D.C., this year, the ACC will host its conference tournament at Barclays Center in 2017 and '18. The Atlantic 10, meantime, will move from Barclays to Pittsburgh's Consol Energy Center in 2017 and Washington D.C.'s Verizon Center in 2018.

The Big Ten, meantime, will hold its conference tournament at Madison Square Garden in 2018 -- a week earlier than the Big East's event.

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 (Anthony Gruppuso / USA Today Sports)
(Anthony Gruppuso / USA Today Sports)

Four BIG EAST standouts were unanimous selections to the 2015-16 All-BIG EAST First Team. The league announced the All-BIG EAST First and Second Teams, Honorable Mention and the All-Freshman Team. The conference's head coaches choose the all-conference teams and are not permitted to vote for their own players. 

The four unanimous picks are: Kris Dunn and Ben Bentil of Providence, Josh Hart of Villanova and Isaiah Whitehead of Seton Hall. Trevon Bluiett of Xavier and Henry Ellenson of Marquette also made the All-BIG EAST First Team.

The BIG EAST Player of the Year will come from the All-BIG EAST First Team. The conference will announce Player of the Year, Coach of the Year, Freshman of the Year and the BIG EAST Men's Basketball Scholar-Athlete of the Year on Wednesday, March 9. The announcement will be made on the first day of the BIG EAST Tournament Presented by the Jeep Brand at Madison Square Garden at 4:30 p.m. ET. The other league individual awards will be announced Monday, March 7.

Tags: Big East, Henry Ellenson, Isaiah Whitehead, Kris Dunn, Adam Zagoria
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St. John's has yet to win a Big East contest this season and will take a 15-game losing streak into Saturday night's tilt with No. 1 Villanova at Wells Fargo Center.

Despite the long odds, Chris Mullin's team has an opportunity to pull off what would be a tremendous upset less than a week after the Wildcats (21-3, 11-1 Big East) were installed as the No. 1 team in the nation.

"I always talk about it being an opportunity," Mullin said Thursday on the Big East conference call. "That only comes if you play hard, unselfish, have good energy and are mentally focused on our game plan and know the personnel. Then you give yourself a chance to seize that opportunity. The preparation is so important leading up to the game. You have to put the work in to let yourself play free."

Tags: Ben Bentil, Big East Breakdown, St. John's, Adam Zagoria
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When the new Associated Press poll comes out on Monday, it's entirely possible that Villanova could be the new No. 1 team in the land.

Both No. 1 Oklahoma and No. 2 North Carolina lost to unranked teams on Saturday, thereby ensuring that the revolving door of No. 1-ranked teams will continue to turn.

There have already been five different No. 1 teams this year: North Carolina, Michigan State, Kansas, Kentucky and Oklahoma.

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For the first time in the brief history of the new-look Big East Conference, the league placed three teams in the Top 10 of the AP Poll on Monday.

Villanova is No. 6, Xavier is No. 7 and Providence is No. 10.

Villanova saw its 22-game league winning streak snapped on Sunday at the hands of Providence. Before that, the Wildcats hadn't lost a league game since falling at Georgetown in January 2015.

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Kris Dunn and Providence are one of four Big East teams ranked in this week's AP Poll. (Mark L. Baer / USA Today Sports)
Kris Dunn and Providence are one of four Big East teams ranked in this week's AP Poll. (Mark L. Baer / USA Today Sports)

Four Big East teams are ranked in this week's AP Top 25 Poll with Villanova leading the way at No. 6, followed by No. 7 Xavier, No. 12 Providence and No. 23 Butler.

The Big East ranks fourth in RPI by conference behind the Big 12, Pac-12 and ACC, according to RealTimeRPI.com.

Still, the league's coaches are well aware that they will be judged by what happens in March.

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Xavier Musketeers guard Edmond Sumner (4) goes up to dunk the ball during the second half against the Wake Forest Demon Deacons at Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Xavier defeated Wake Forest 78-70. (Jeremy Brevard)
Xavier Musketeers guard Edmond Sumner (4) goes up to dunk the ball during the second half against the Wake Forest Demon Deacons at Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Xavier defeated Wake Forest 78-70. (Jeremy Brevard)

In its third year since renovation, the Big East has been the beast of the college basketball world throughout non-conference play.

While last year saw members of the conference make some strong statements, this season, the league is getting respect from the AP voters, with four teams ranked in the top-16 of both the AP Top 25 and the USA Today Coaches Poll.

And while your first guess may be that Jay Wright's Villanova Wildcats are once again leading the pack and are the clear favorite in the league, well, you would be wrong.

Tags: Big East, John Fanta
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With the college basketball season about to begin, there is?Big Pressure on the Big East.

The conference went 2-4 in the NCAA Tournament last year and didn't get a single team?into the second weekend of the?Big Dance.

Many of the conference's traditional heavyweights are now long gone, too.

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The Big East and Big Ten Conferences?on Monday announced the Gavitt TipOff Games to begin in 2015-16.

The series will consist of eight games and could feature several natural regional rivalries, including Georgetown-Maryland, Marquette-Wisconsin, Creighton-Nebraska, Butler-Indiana, DePaul-Illinois and Xavier-Ohio State.

Rutgers, which enters the Big Ten next season, and Seton Hall are already signed to an eight-game series, so it's unlikely they would meet again in this event.

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Val Ackerman proudly stood on a podium on the Madison Square Garden floor late Saturday night handing out Big East Tournament championship trophies to Providence coach Ed Cooley and every member of his team.

The Friars' surprise victory in the Big East Tournament culminated a successful week for Ackerman in her first year as Commissioner of the revamped Big East.

The tournament was exciting, culminating in a tense and taut game between a member of the Big East old guard (Providence) and a representative of the new Big East (Creighton). It somehow seemed appropriate that Dave Gavitt's old school won its first Big East Tournament championship since 1994 and will go to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2004.

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Villanova's Jay Wright will be named the Big East Coach of the Year, SNY.tv has learned.

Wright led the Wildcats to a 28-3 overall record, 16-2 in the Big East. Their only two losses were to Creighton by a combined 49 points.

Villanova is in position to be a No. 1 seed in the upcoming NCAA Tournament.

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When the seven Catholic schools broke up the Big East Conference more than a year ago, they took their brand, the Big East name and their rich basketball traditions with them.

The basketball schools remained in the new-look Big East, adding Butler, Creighton and Xavier to form a new 10-team league that still gets to play its postseason tournament at Madison Square Garden.

The football schools departed for what was eventually called the American Athletic Conference, adding in some former Conference-USA members to round out their 10-team league that will play its postseason tournament at the FedEx Forum in Memphis.

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In the final season of the "old" Big East Conference, the league sent eight teams to the NCAA Tournament and two to the Final Four in Atlanta.

Rick Pitino and Louisville ended up cutting down the nets to give the Big East its second NCAA championship in three years, and fifth since 1999.

But as the new-look Big East gets set to tip off on Tuesday with all 10 teams in action, those five NCAA championship-winning programs will be long gone.

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With the first?coaches' poll out, this much is clear: the new-look Big East took a beating.

Marquette, picked to win the Big East, is the only league team in the Top 25 -- at No. 17.

Creighton, Georgetown and Villanova all received votes.

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NEW YORK -- The Big East Preseason Player of the Year has never played a single game in the Big East Conference.

He has never competed in Madison Square Garden, either.

Oh, and did we mention that he's a walk-on?

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Here are the preseason rankings and All-Conference teams for the Big East and American Athletic Conference.

The Big East Preseason Player of the Year, Doug McDermott, is a kid from Iowa who's never played a game in the Big East or Madison Square Garden.

The AAC Preseason Player of the Year, Russ Smith, is a kid from Brooklyn who's never played a game in the AAC or a conference tournament game in Memphis.

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NEW YORK -- When Isaiah Whitehead committed to Seton Hall on Thursday afternoon, he automatically became the highest-ranked player in the Class of 2014 committed to a Big East school, according to the Scout.com rankings.

In fact, Seton Hall now has the two highest-rated incoming recruits, with Whitehead at No. 12 and forward Angel Delgado at No. 42. (See chart below.)

Remember that Syracuse, Louisville and UConn are among those no longer in the Big East, so other top commits who would have played in the Big East are now headed to other conferences.

Tags: Articles, Big East, Lincoln High School, Seton Hall, Adam Zagoria
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The Big East released the 2013-14 schedule, with a special five-game "marathon" on New Year's Eve.

The conference announced that each school will play an 18-game schedule, the first time since 1994-95 that the league will feature a full, double round-robin format.

FOX Sports 1 will broadcast the majority of the games, while others will be seen on CBS, though a licensing deal between the two broadcast companies.

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NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. -- It may be only a matter of time before the ACC Tournament comes to Madison Square Garden -- and you can count Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski and North Carolina's Roy Williams among those who'd like to see it happen.

"We have New York, we should use it," Coach K told SNY.tv at the Peach Jam. "If we don't use it, we're foolish. We use [Madison Square Garden] at Duke, we come there every year."

Both Coach K and Williams said they would at least be in favor of rotating the ACC Tournament through the Garden -- if not having it there every year.

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Former WNBA Commissioner Val Ackerman will be the new Commissioner of the Big East Conference, according to a report by Bloomberg News.

Ackerman, 53, was the head of the WNBA from 1995-2006. She also served as an NBA staff attorney and was the first female president of USA Basketball from 2005 to 2008.

?She brings all of that experience with intelligence, a keen analytical ability, an intense work ethic and a winning management style,? NBA Commissioner David Stern told Bloomberg via e-mail.

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EDITOR'S NOTE: This post was updated on June 18 to reflect the news of the torn ACL suffered by Georgetown's Greg Whittington.***

This isn't your father's Big East Conference.

The Big East Conference of 2013-14 won't have traditional Final Four contenders Syracuse and Louisville. The Jimmy and Ricky Show has moved on to a Denny's somewhere near Greensboro (Rick Pitino will have to wait until Louisville joins the ACC in 2014 for that).

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The former Big East Conference will call itself the American Athletic Conference.

?We worked with our institutions, sports marketing experts, media partners, and also solicited opinions and reactions from collegiate sports fans to create a compelling list of names,? said league commissioner Mike Aresco.?

?Versions that included the word ?American? led every list.? American Athletic Conference represents a strong, durable and aspirational name for our reinvented Conference.

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NEW YORK -- Just came from the Big East/Fox Sports press conference in midtown Manhattan and here are the highlights.

**As has been widely reported, Butler, Creighton and Xavier will officially join the new 10-team league ?as of July 1 and begin play next year in men's and women's hoops and all Olympic sports. They will join the Catholic 7 of DePaul, Georgetown Marquette, Providence, Seton Hall, St. John's and Villanova.?Georgetown, Providence, St. John?s and Seton Hall are all founding members of the Big East, which began conference play in 1979. Villanova was added in 1980, while DePaul and Marquette joined in 2006.

**The league announced a 12-year deal with Fox Sports and its new Fox Sports 1 multi-sport channel, which launches Aug. 17.?Father Brian J. Shanley of Providence College said the deal -- reportedly worth $500 million -- offers "stability" to the Big East.

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NEW YORK -- Jay Bilas is a former Duke basketball player, an attorney and maybe the smartest man in the room when it comes to college basketball.

So when he says it's inevitable that the ACC Tournament will eventually come to Madison Square Garden, we should probably pay attention.

"I always thought the ACC Tournament was the best tournament," Bilas told SNY.tv prior to calling Louisville's 78-61 victory over Syracuse in the Big East championship for ESPN.

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NEW YORK -- Jim Boeheim isn't alone in thinking that moving the ACC Tournament to Madison Square Garden is a good idea.

Louisville coach Rick Pitino believes the ACC would benefit from such a move, too.

"I don't know if they would go for it, like Duke and ?Carolina, but I think they would benefit greatly," Pitino told SNY.tv following Louisville's 74-55 victory over Villanova in the Big East Tournament quarterfinals.

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http://web.sny.tv/media/video.jsp?content_id=25711575

With the last Big East Tournament as we know it set to tip off today, here is a video and a few news updates to keep you posted.

**Above is the SNY Big East Tournament preview featuring Big East Commissioner Mike Aresco. The league also formally announced Tuesday that the Catholic 7 would get to keep the "Big East" name going forward, and said it would soon provide more information about "the?expected broadcast media deal, season-ending tournament and additional members of the new conference," which are expected to be Butler, Creighton and Xavier.

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NEW YORK -?Gorgui Dieng, Louisville?s junior center, has been named Big East Defensive Player of the Year by a vote of the league?s head coaches who were not permitted to vote for their own players.
The league also announced that Kadeem Batts of Providence and Michael Carter-Williams of Syracuse are co-winners of the Big East Most Improved Player Award. ?Marquette junior forward Davante Gardner has won the Big East Sixth Man Award. ?His teammate Junior Cadougan has been named the winner of the Big East Sportsmanship Award.
Dieng, a 6-11 center from Kebemer, Senegal, was the force in the paint who helped Louisville tie for the Big East regular-season title. ?Dieng averaged 10.3 points, 10.1 rebounds and 2.6 blocked shots in all games. ?In Big East play, he was the league rebounding champion with a 10.8 average and was second in blocked shots with an average of 2.8.
Batts helped Providence improve to 9-9 in the BIG EAST after the Friars were 4-14 last season. ?A 6-9 junior forward, Batts is second on the team in scoring with a 15.2 average and is second in rebounding at 7.4. ?Last season, he averaged 6.2 points and 4.2 rebounds. ?Batts is a native of Powder Springs, Ga.
Carter-Williams earned All-BIG EAST Second Team honors this season after playing only 10.3 minutes per game last year. ?Last season, Carter-Williams, a native of Hamilton, Mass., averaged 2.7 points. ?This year, the 6-5 sophomore is averaging 12.5 points. ?He leads the BIG EAST with averages of 7.5 assists and 2.9 steals in all games.
Gardner was usually the first player of the bench for Marquette, the BIG EAST co-regular-season champions. ?Despite averaging only 21.3 minutes per game, Gardner is second on the team in scoring with an 11.5 average and first in rebounding with a 4.8 mark. ?A native of Suffolk, Va., Gardner?s 57.7 percent shooting percentage from the field and his 84.8 percent mark from the foul line both rank fourth in the BIG EAST.
Cadougan has been the steady point guard for Marquette. ?The 6-1 senior is averaging 8.6 points and 4.2 assists. ?The BIG EAST coaches also recognized his sportsmanlike manner. ?A team captain, Cadougan has won the team?s Create for Others Award as a sophomore and junior and the Hank Raymonds Sportsmanship Award in 2009-10. ?Cadougan came to Marquette from Toronto, Ont.
BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Year
Gorgui Dieng, Louisville
BIG EAST Most Improved Player
Kadeem Batts, Providence
Michael Carter-Williams, Syracuse
BIG EAST Sixth Man Award
Davante Gardner, Marquette
BIG EAST Sportsmanship Award
Junior Cadougan, Marquette
Photo/Release: Courtesy Big East
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As first reported by SNY.tv, Georgetown forward Otto Porter, Jr. was named unanimously to the All-Big East First Team and thus will be named the league's Player of the Year on Tuesday.
The conference will also name Big East Coach of the Year, Rookie of the Year and Scholar-Athlete of the Year on Tuesday.
In addition to Porter, Louisville placed two players on the first team, guard Russ Smith and center Gorgui Dieng. ?The other first team selections were Connecticut guard Shabazz Napier, Notre Dame forward Jack Cooley and Providence guard Bryce Cotton.
Porter, a 6-8 sophomore, led the Hoyas to the Big East regular-season crown and was the only unanimous selection. ?In league games, he was second in the Big East in scoring with an 18.1 average, fifth in rebounding with a 7.3 mark and tied for third in steals with a 1.8 average. ?He made 44.1 percent from 3-point range, which ranked second in the league.
Smith, a 6-0 junior, was second in the Big East in overall scoring, averaging 17.9 points. ?He was third in steals with a 2.0 mark. ?Dieng, a 6-11 junior, averaged 10.3 points and 10.1 rebounds in all games. ?In Big East play, he was the league rebounding champion with a 10.8 average and was second in blocked shots with an average of 2.8.
Napier led Connecticut with a 17.1 points per game scoring average and was tied for fourth in the BIG EAST in steals at 2.0 and seventh in assists at 4.6. ?The 6-1 junior was third in the league with 68 3-point baskets made.
Cooley averaged a double-double for Notre Dame. ?The 6-9 senior averaged 13.6 points and a league-leading 10.6 rebounds in all games. ?He was second in the Big East in field goal percentage, making 58.2 percent.
Cotton, a 6-1 junior, was the Big East scoring champion in league games, averaging 18.3 points. ?The Providence guard edged Porter for the scoring title by four points. ?In all games, Cotton also was first in scoring with a 19.6 mark. ?His 88 baskets from beyond the arc also led the league.
For the Big East All-Rookie Team, the coaches included two players from St. John?s, forward JaKarr Sampson and center Chris Obekpa. ?Sampson was the league?s top freshman scorer, averaging 14.9 points per game in all games. ?Obekpa led the league in blocks with a 4.1 average. ?The others named to the team are: Omar Calhoun of Connecticut, D?Vauntes Smith-Rivera of Georgetown, Steven Adams of Pittsburgh and Ryan Arcidiacono of Villanova. ?Sampson and Arcidiacono were unanimous picks. ?The Big East Rookie of the Year will come from the All-Rookie Team.
ALL-BIG EAST FIRST TEAM
Shabazz Napier, Connecticut, G, Jr., 6-1, 171, Roxbury, Mass.
* Otto Porter, Jr., Georgetown, F, So., 6-8, 205, Sikeston, Mo.
Gorgui Dieng, Louisville, C, Jr., 6-11, 245, Kebemer, Senegal
Russ Smith, Louisville, G, Jr., 6-0, 165, Briarwood, N.Y.
Jack Cooley, Notre Dame, F, Sr., 6-9, 246, Glenview, Ill.
Bryce Cotton, Providence, G, Jr., 6-1, 165, Tucson, Ariz.
ALL-BIG EAST SECOND TEAM
Sean Kilpatrick, Cincinnati, G, Jr., 6-4, 221, White Plains, N.Y.
Vander Blue, Marquette, G, Sr., 6-4, 200, Madison, Wisc.
Jerian Grant, Notre Dame, G, Jr., 6-5, 202, Bowie, Md.
Michael Carter-Williams, Syracuse, G, So., 6-6, 185, Hamilton, Mass.
C.J. Fair, Syracuse, F, Jr., 6-8, 215, Baltimore, Md.
ALL-BIG EAST THIRD TEAM
Markel Starks, Georgetown, G, Jr., 6-2, 175, Accokeek, Md.
Peyton Siva, Louisville, G, Sr., 6-0, 185, Seattle, Wash.
Tray Woodall, Pittsburgh, G, Sr., 6-0, 190, Brooklyn, N.Y.
Brandon Triche, Syracuse, G, Sr., 6-4,210, Jamesville, N.Y.
JayVaughn Pinkston, Villanova, F, So., 6-6, 240, Brooklyn, N.Y.
BIG EAST HONORABLE MENTION
Davonte Gardner, Marquette, F, Jr., 6-8, 290, Suffolk, Va.
Kadeem Batts, Providence, F, Jr., 6-9, 245, Powder Springs, Ga.
JaKarr Sampson, St. John?s, F, Fr., 6-8, 204, Barberton, Ohio
Fuquan Edwin, Seton Hall, F, Jr., G-F, 6-6, 205, Paterson, N.J.
BIG EAST ALL-ROOKIE TEAM ^
Omar Calhoun, Connecticut, G, Fr., 6-5, 195, Brooklyn, N.Y.
D?Vauntes Smith-Rivera, Georgetown, G, Fr., 6-3, 227, Indianapolis, Ind.
Steven Adams, Pittsburgh, C, Fr., 7-0, 250, Roturua, New Zealand
Chris Obekpa, St. John?s, C, Fr., 6-9, 223, Makurdi, Nigeria
* JaKarr Sampson, St. John?s, F, Fr., 6-8, 204, Barberton, Ohio
* Ryan Arcidiacono, Villanova, G, Fr., 6-3, 195, Langhorne, Pa.
*Denotes unanimous selection.
^Due to a tie in the voting, an additional position was named.

Release/Photo Courtesy Big East

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It's the last Big East Tournament featuring Syracuse, Pitt, Louisville, Notre Dame and others. Enjoy it while you can!

Here's the schedule:

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It's official.

Big East Conference Commissioner Mike Aresco today announced that after several weeks of cordial and professional discussions, a definitive agreement has been reached that will enable a mutually-beneficial separation of some of the league?s current members and allow an orderly formation of a new conference by the seven basketball schools.? The separation will become effective on July 1, 2013 and the new league will retain the rights to the Big East name.

The agreement, which remains subject to formal Board approval,?contemplates continued cooperation and playing opportunities between the conferences.

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With the Catholic 7 reportedly set to breakaway and become the new Big East as of today, here's a quick reminder of how the new leagues will look going forward.

Keep in mind that the ACC will reportedly accept Notre Dame this summer assuming the Irish can negotiate an exit from the Big East. Notre Dame had planned on remaining in the Big East until 2014 assuming the Catholic 7 did the same.

But the Catholic 7 are now going to leave and form their new league -- taking the Big East name with them -- beginning July 1. They also need to hire a commissioner, set up league offices (potentially in New York) and organize bylaws.

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NEW YORK (AP) ? Big?East football schools will get almost all of a $110?million pot in a deal that will allow seven departing basketball schools to keep the name Big?East and start playing in their own conference next season, a person familiar with the negotiations says.

The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the separation agreement has not yet been finalized. That is likely to happen by the end of the week. The football schools will receive approximately $100 million under the agreement, most of which will go to holdover members Connecticut, South Florida and Cincinnati.

The basketball schools will receive $10 million, the Big?East name and the right to play their conference tournament at Madison Square Garden.

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Based on the news that the Catholic 7 will break away and keep the Big East name starting in 2013-14, here's a quick look at how the New and Old Big Easts will look in 2013-14 and 2014-15.

Notre Dame is considering going into the New Big East for next season, remaining in the Old Big East or paying to head to the ACC, Irish coach Mike Brey confirmed on his radio show.

"All options are open," he told SNY.tv.

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The Catholic 7 is looking to negotiate for the rights to the name of the Big East Conference on its way out the door and there seems to be growing sentiment that it will happen.

"It almost seems fitting that they should have the name," said Notre Dame coach Mike Brey, whose team is headed to the ACC in 2014.

"I almost think maybe it would be fitting for them to have that title given the tradition and history of those Catholic schools in the league."

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By JOHN F. SILVER & ADAM ZAGORIA

STORRS, Conn. ? Jim Boeheim believes that not only is Otto Porter Jr. the Big East Player of the Year, but the National Player of the Year as well.

"He's the best player in college," Boeheim said Thursday on the Big East conference call. "There's no question in my mind."

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http://web.sny.tv/media/video.jsp?content_id=25631965

St. John's coach Steve Lavin talks about Saturday's game at Providence and the Johnnies' chances of making the NCAA Tournament. After the Friars, St. John's (16-11, 8-7 Big East) visits Notre Dame and hosts Marquette. They probably need to win at least two of these three to make the Big Dance.

"We gotta find a way to get some 'W's," Lavin said. "As Al Davis would say, just win, baby."

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NEW YORK -- Mark Jackson says he doesn't have the time to follow his alma mater of St. John's all that much now that he's an NBA head coach, but is "very disappointed" about the impending breakup of the Big East and St. John's eventual move to the Catholic 7.

"I'm not a guy that wears my red shorts underneath my suit," said Jackson, whose Golden State Warriors will be without David Lee for tonight's game with the Knicks at MSG. "With all due respect, my son [Mark Jackson Jr.] goes to Manhattan College so I don't follow [St. John's]. I got too much work to do.

"But that being said, I do know the breakup of the Big East and that's disappointing when you talk about the history, the great players, the great programs, the great moments. That's a tough pill to swallow and very, very disappointing.?

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I texted every coaching staff in the Big East Monday morning and asked for their votes for Big East Player of the Year.

Not a single coach gave a name other than, "Otto Porter (Jr.)."

Actually, one coach said he wasn't allowed to respond (he's a stickler for league rules), and another coach declined to name his pick at this point.

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Rick Pitino believes Louisville or Syracuse could still get a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament if they "win out" the remainder of the way.

The same could probably be said of Georgetown and Marquette.

Syracuse, Georgetown and Marquette are currently tied atop the Big East standings at 10-3, while Louisville is a game out at 9-4.

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With all the focus on the impending breakup of the Big East Conference, the actual performance of the teams on the court this season may have become overshadowed.

Yes, the Big East will lose Syracuse and Pittsburgh to the ACC after this season.

And yes, as many as nine more teams will leave in 2014 when Louisville and Notre Dame also head to the ACC and the Catholic 7 break out on their own.

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NEWARK, N.J. -- Despite his mixed feelings about leaving the Big East Conference for the ACC next season, Jim Boeheim figures it may not be the worst thing in the world.

"Maybe be good I'm not [coming back]," Boeheim told SNY.tv exclusively of Syracuse's exit from the league following the No. 6 Orange's 76-65 victory over Seton Hall Saturday at the Prudential Center. "Maybe be a good thing I'm not."

Boeheim said the 18-team Big East figures to be loaded in 2013-14 even without Syracuse and Pittsburgh, which are headed to the ACC.

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By JOHN F. SILVER

HARTFORD, Conn. --- It's a rivalry that is 33 years old and in the fast moving world of college sports, that's about as old as rivals get.

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Once the Catholic 7 depart the Big East -- which could well be in 2014 -- the Big East will have only three current members remaining.

UConn, Cincinnati and South Florida would be the lone holdovers from the current conference.

Big East Commissioner Mike Aresco is on record saying he wants the league to be able to keep the name, but the Catholic 7 would also like to take the name with it when they go.

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The Catholic 7 could be out of the Big East by 2014 and the way Rick Pitino sees it, that will be good news for that group of schools.

"It's very difficult for the teams to catch up in the Big East when everybody has such an advantage in terms of talent," said Pitino, the current Louisville coach who once led Providence to a Final Four.

"That being said, I think when the Catholic schools break off, I think you'll see a rise in Seton Hall. I think Providence, Seton Hall, you're going to see a major rise in those two programs when there's a little bit more league continuity for them."

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Shabazz Napier and his UConn teammates won't play in the Big East Tournament next month at Madison Square Garden.

And they won't play in the NCAA or NIT Tournaments, either.

The Huskies are banned from postseason play due to poor APR scores, yet that hasn't stopped Napier from playing at a high level and competing with the Big East's best.

Tags: Articles, Big East, Adam Zagoria
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They aren't ranked in today's Coaches' Poll, but did anybody have as good a week last week as Villanova?

For the first time in program history, the unranked Wildcats knocked off two top five programs in the span of one week of the regular season.

On Tuesday, the Wildcats upset No. 5 Louisville, 73-64, and then followed that up four days later by beating No. 3 Syracuse, 75-71 in OT, thanks to a Ryan Arcidiacono 3-pointer that tied the game?with 2.2 seconds left in regulation.

Tags: Articles, Big East, Villanova, Adam Zagoria
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Duke, Louisville and Indiana have all spent time as the nation's No. 1 college basketball team this year and none of them have been able to hold onto it.

No. 1 Duke was slaughtered by Miami Thursday night, 90-63, and will be deposed from the No. 1 ranking come Monday.

No. 2 Michigan, No. 3 Kansas and No. 4 Syracuse all wait in the wings.

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One veteran NBA scout who attended No. 6 Syracuse's 70-68 victory over No. 1 Louisville on Saturday broke down several key players in the game for SNY.tv.

Here's his take.

**Brandon Triche, Syracuse (23 points, 6 rebounds):

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Remember back in October when we wrote about?Jim Boeheim and Rick Pitino accusing each other of being full of s**t at Big East Media Day?

Yeah, well those wild days are long gone and now it's a virtual lovefest between the two.

"We started out together 37 years ago and we've been friends ever since," Boeheim said Thursday on a conference call ahead of Saturday's showdown between No. 6 Syracuse and No. 1 Louisville.

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