Posted by Brett McMurphy, CBSSports.com Senior Writer
PONTE VERDA BEACH, Fla. – The Big East Conference men's basketball coaches voted Tuesday to allow all 17 teams to compete in the league’s tournament starting in 2012.
The coaches’ recommendations at the league’s spring meetings still must be approved by the athletic directors and then voted on by the league’s presidents before becoming official.
With TCU joining the league for the 2012-13 school year, the basketball membership will grow from 16 to 17 teams. There was some thought that the league might opt to only allow the top 12 teams to play in Madison Square Garden for the Big East tournament. That’s how the tournament was restructured from 2006-08 until the league allowed all 16 teams to advance to New York beginning with the 2009 tournament.
UConn coach Jim Calhoun said if he was the Big East's commissioner he would want a 12-team tournament, but as a coach he preferred all 17 teams playing in the tournament.