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Rothstein: UConn, Big East have had recent discussions about expansion

PHILADELPHIA, PA - JANUARY 07: The Big East logo in the lane before the game between the Marquette Golden Eagles and the Villanova Wildcats on January 07, 2017 at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia PA. (Photo by Gavin Baker/Icon Sportswire)
Gavin Baker/Icon Sportswire

The Big East and UConn have had recent discussions about the Huskies joining the conference, multiple sources told FanRag Sports.

FanRag Sports reported last week that UConn had looked into joining the conference and one source confirmed on Wednesday that the Big East would take the Huskies in all sports.

The issue then for UConn would be to find a home for its football program, which wouldn’t be able to join the Big East because the league’s participants do not have football.

“The Big East would take UConn in everything, but they need to resolve what they’re going to do with football,” one source said. “That’s the only thing that’s standing in the way of a marriage.”

Multiple sources told FanRag Sports that Big East basketball coaches have been in major favor of the league’s double round-robin format, and one source confirmed on Wednesday that the Big East would be willing to expand to 20 league games if and when UConn became a member in men’s basketball.

The ACC will expand to 20 league games during the 2019-20 season.

“If the Big East expanded to 20 games with UConn as a member, it would help offset other power-five programs being in position to get more of the NCAA bids,” one source said. “It would provide an opportunity for the teams in the league to get more games that matter and more games that can help their overall resume.”

The Huskies won 17 regular season and tournament titles in the old Big East, but their program has had to fight to stay nationally relevant since joining the American Athletic Conference despite winning the 2014 national title.

This will also be a big change for the women’s basketball program, who’ve won 100 consecutive games under head coach Geno Auriemma.

Jon Rothstein has been a college basketball insider for CBS Sports since 2010 and is the lead college basketball columnist for the FanRag Sports Network. He is also the host of the College Hoops Today Podcast via Compass Media Networks, which is available via iTunes. Rothstein is also a regular in-studio correspondent for both WFAN and CBS Sports Radio. He currently lives in Manhattan.





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