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Aresco wants to keep Big East name, possibly add 12th team

By Jeff Borzello | College Basketball Writer

The schools leaving the Big East -- the “Catholic Seven” -- are more known for being part of the Big East than the ones staying in the conference, but it looks like they might lose the name when they leave.

Big East commissioner Mike Aresco spoke at a breakfast in Connecticut on Monday, and one of the items he mentioned was to keep the name with the schools that stay.

“Our goal is to keep the name,” Aresco said, according to Kevin Duffy of the Connecticut Post. “It's built up a great deal of brand equity despite some of the setbacks. It's a great brand with a great name and has a great history.”

DePaul, Georgetown, Marquette, Providence, St. John's, Seton Hall and Villanova announced in December that they were leaving the Big East to form a league of non football-playing members.

When those seven schools leave -- along with Louisville, Notre Dame, Pittsburgh and Syracuse to the Big East, and Rutgers to the Big Ten -- the league will be left with Cincinnati, Connecticut, South Florida, Temple, UCF, Houston, Memphis, SMU, Tulane, Navy (football) and East Carolina (football) by 2015. Don't expect it to stay at 11 teams, though.

“We probably will at some point add a 12th team,” Aresco said. “We're going to have 11 when Navy comes in 2015. There's no urgency, but I think we'll probably think about adding a 12th team. But beyond that, you don't need numbers for numbers sake.”

The “Catholic Seven” are reportedly thinking about adding some combination of Butler, Xavier, Creighton, Dayton, Saint Louis and VCU.

For more college basketball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnCBB on Twitter, subscribe to our RSS Feed and subscribe to our College Basketball Newsletter. You can follow Jeff Borzello on Twitter here: @jeffborzello

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