From Brett McMurphy at CBSSportsline.com. My thoughts after Jump...
'VCU is leaving the Colonial Athletic Association and will join the Atlantic 10 Conference, industry sources told CBSSports.com on Monday.
VCU was expected to join the A-10 in 2013, but because it didn't want to spend a lame duck season in the Colonial, the Rams will join the A-10 a year earlier in 2012, sources told CBSSports.com on Tuesday.
CAAHoops.com first reported Tuesday morning that VCU would be joining the A-10 for the 2012 school year.
If VCU had remained in the CAA, the Rams would have been ineligible to play in the CAA men's basketball tournament and the automatic NCAA tournament bid to the conference champion. VCU still could have been considered for an NCAA at-large berth. So instead, VCU decided to make its move to the A-10 immediately.
VCU is the second new addition to the Atlantic 10, joining Butler, which is leaving the Horizon League for the A-10. Butler will not join the A-10 until 2013.
VCU and the Atlantic 10 have called press conferences for Tuesday afternoon to announce the move.
CBSSports.com reported two months ago that Virginia Commonwealth, George Mason and Butler were in discussions with the Atlantic 10.'
Those 6, plus the 14, would immediately have a reasonable claim to be considered the 2nd best Basketball Conference around.
You could have 4 5-team meat-grinding punch-you-in-the-mouth Philly/Indi/NYC-style hoops divisions.
1) Johnnies, Bonnies, Minutemen, Hoyas, URI
2) Marquette, DePaul, Butler, Dayton, St Louis
3) LaSalle, Nova, St Josephs, Providence, Duquense
4) VCU, RIchmond, GW, Fordham, Xavier
MSG, TD Garden, The Phone Booth, and Wells Fargo Center would be lining up to get into tourney rotation.
If someone from either conference is smart, they're on the phone trying to work something like this out behind the scenes. You'd have 3 of the Big 5, the Chicago/Wisconsin markets, The Capital, Indiana, Ohio, NYfnC, UMass could find relevance again. Plus Richmond and VCU as LEAGUE crosstown rivas?
As a pure basketball fan, sign me up for a premium cable package featuring this league.