Much like the way of the regular season, the 2013 NCAA Tournament was exciting, heartbreaking, and of course, unpredictable. It all came to an end on April 8 in an epic national championship game that included all the necessary ingredients for an instant classic: countless dunks, three-pointers, lead changes, compelling storylines, and even a controversial call or two. But above all else, it was a somewhat fitting end for the former Big East Conference.
With an 82-76 victory over the Big Ten’s Michigan Wolverines, the Louisville Cardinals secured one last title for the Big East, an annual college basketball powerhouse. But even it couldn’t escape the seemingly unending conference shuffle that will certainly have major implications for years to come.
The 2013-14 campaigns alone will feature an entirely different landscape for most sports. First off, the traditional “Big East Conference” is no more. That name will now belong to 10 member schools including DePaul, Georgetown, Marquette, Providence, Seton Hall, St. John’s, Villanova, Xavier, Butler, and Creighton.
The remaining institutions from the former Big East will now be known as the American Athletic Conference, and in a sign of the ever-changing times, its new moniker has no reference to geographic location or number of members. For now, the league will boast Louisville, Rutgers, Central Florida, Temple, Houston, Memphis, SMU, Cincinnati, Connecticut, and South Florida. Then, for the 2014-15 season, Louisville will head to the ACC, Rutgers to the Big Ten, and set to come aboard are East Carolina, Tulane, and Tulsa. Navy will join in 2015-16, which will ultimately bring the grand total to 12 schools.
As for Notre Dame, Syracuse, and Pittsburgh, all three will begin a new chapter in the ACC in the upcoming season, with Maryland scheduled to depart for the Big Ten in 2014. Even a traditionally smaller conference like the Atlantic 10 wasn’t immune to realignment, as the league abruptly lost Butler, Xavier, Charlotte, and Temple, but will add George Mason for next year.
The moves appear to be finished for now, but collegiate athletics continues to be anything but predictable. Keep up with all the changes with the breakdown below. VIsit Vivid Seats for NCAA Football tickets and NCAA Basketball tickets when the seasons unfold next year.
Tentative New Conference Members for 2013-14ACC
American Athletic Conference
San Jose State