16 teams forced bad tourney plan

Originally Published: November 30, 2004
By Jay Bilas | Special to ESPN Insider
When the ACC, a basketball conference, expanded to 12 teams in the name of football, it may well have made the Big East the best and most powerful basketball conference in the country.

Spurred by the ACC's poaching of Miami, Virginia Tech and Boston College, the Big East turned predator itself, filching Marquette, Cincinnati, Louisville, and DePaul to help form a new 16-team basketball conference for 2005-06 -- four additional teams that can and will make great cases for inclusion into the NCAA Tournament field.

With Syracuse, UConn, Pittsburgh, Providence, and Seton Hall all going to the Tournament last year, and Notre Dame going the year before, it is not hard to imagine the new Big East putting nine or ten teams into the NCAA Tournament in a single year.

Jay Bilas

College Basketball analyst