Kansas Basketball 50 in 50, No.49: A Look at a Revamped Big East

50 in 50 is a feature here at RCT counting down until the Jayhawks kick off the 2011 basketball season on November first. Got an idea for something you'd like to see featured here? tweet @rockchalktalk or @fetch9 or email me at fetch9 at gmail dot com.

About a week ago there was a New York post report that the Big East could be adding Kansas, Kansas State and Missouri. The football side of the Big East realignment would be pretty straightforward: the conference would only have 12 football playing schools (the 8 now, TCU and the three prospective I-70 schools), and I'm assuming two divisions, a Big East title game, and all that good stuff.

But basketball is a little more muddled. The additions of these three schools plus TCU would give the Big East a gargantuan 20 team basketball league, which creates both scheduling concerns but, because of having a group of schools clustered very closely together and a different group more spread out, some concerns as to which schools would go into which divisions.

After the jump, a look at two possible scenarios for breaking the Big East into two divisions:

Wearescrewed_medium

This first one is aptly titled "we are screwed" and for good (if not perhaps hyperbolic) reasons. If the map is hard to see clearly, and I'm sure it is, here's the breakdown of the two divisions:

West:

Kansas

Kansas State

Missouri

TCU

South Florida

Marquette

DePaul

Notre Dame

Cincinnati

Louisville

East: 

Pitt

Syracuse

Connecticut

Seton Hall

Rutgers

Providence

West Virginia

Georgetown

Villanova

St. Johns

 

The obvious pros with this lineup would be reduced travel and the fact that we could preserve our rivalries with Kansas State and Missouri. The obvious con is that most of the quality is out East. The West would likely come down to Kansas and Louisville every year, with the once in awhile challenge from Marquette, Notre Dame or perhaps one of our two biggest rivals. The East, meanwhile, has Rutgers, Seton Hall and Providence as bottom feeders and then the rest would fight it out every year.

To try to get around this, let's go with a more North-South alignment, which I will dub circle v. checkmark:

Northsouth_medium

Forcing all of the Northeast teams to travel to Fort Worth and to Tampa is a bit harsh, but their other trips are extremely short, so comparing that to the medium sized travel in the circle half of the conference probably evens it out when it's all said and done. Here is how the teams line up:

Circle

Kansas

Kansas State

Missouri

Marquette

DePaul

Notre Dame

Cincinnati

Louisville

West Virginia

Pittsburgh

Checkmark

TCU

South Florida

Rutgers

Syracuse

Seton Hall

Connecticut

Georgetown

St. Johns

Providence

Villanova

 

No major changes, but it looks like they're at least more balanced quality wise, as we would trade TCU and South Florida for West Virginia and Pitt. Also, travel would be better and I think is a pretty good way to divide the teams overall.

I'm sure there's even better ways to do it, i.e. four 5 team pods, but if they end up splitting them in half I think option #2 is the way to go. I just hope they give me royalties when they use circle and check-mark as the division names.

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