Posted: Sunday December 16, 2012 6:36 PM

Unified basketball schools continue to plot future

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VILLANOVA, Pa (AP) - Villanova's Big East banner that hangs in the rafters already has a white patch stitched over West Virginia.

The Wildcats can start putting Xs over most of the rest of the conference schools, as well.

The Big East - a proud league built on basketball moments like the 1985 Wildcats stunning conference rival Georgetown in the national championship game - will soon become extinct, even if the names lives on in some form.

On Saturday, Villanova, Georgetown, St. John's, DePaul, Marquette, Seton Hall and Providence all decided to officially separate from the conference many of them helped to build, so they can construct a league focused on basketball in this ever-changing landscape of college athletics.

Breaking away from the Big East was only the first step. The seven schools must decide who will join them in the new hoops-heavy conference, when they want to depart, where they'll play a conference tournament, and whether they will attempt to keep the name Big East name. Plus, the league will need a commissioner.

 
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