In Canada, July 1st is our national holiday, sort of like the little brother holiday to July 4th. For college basketball, July 1st is also an important date. It represents the day that schools are officially changing conferences. In total, there will be 49 teams this year switching over to another conference. Here are some of the moves that will have some big impacts.
ACC adds Syracuse, Notre Dame and Pitt
This will be massive for competition in the ACC. Syracuse is perennially a great team thanks to coaching and smart recruiting. Notre Dame and Pitt have been good teams in recent years but they have also not gotten as far as they have been predicted to go in the postseason.
Coming over to the ACC should represent a challenge for both Notre Dame and Pitt because they are not as high profile as Syracuse is in terms of recruiting. They are now in probably the toughest conference in college basketball and it will be a tougher task to get commitments from players who do not want to go to teams that are outmatched in their own conference.
The ACC will get even tougher in the 2014-15 season when Louisville comes over, adding one of the best coaches in the NCAA to the ACC. Maryland will leave that year to head to the Big 10.
Patriot adds Boston U and Loyola
The Patriot league has not been a very big name league in the past. These two additions will go long lengths to improve that problem in the future. While neither schools are the most popular in their areas, they are good schools that consistently get good recruiting classes and are competitive against the other NCAA schools.
They will not be losing any teams which is also great for the conference. If they can build their profile up a little more it will go a long way to helping all the teams in the conference with recruiting.
American Athletic gets its start
Technically what a lot of people, especially football fans, would call the Big East, except that the Big East did not change its name, the AAC will get an influx of teams leaving their own conference to start this new one.
UCONN, Cincinatti and South Florida are all coming over from the old Big East. Central Florida, Houston and SMU are coming over from Conference USA. Temple is joining after their time in the Atlantic 10.
Essentially the conference will be made up mostly of teams that have been good in the past but are now struggling, either for recruiting difficulties or problems with breaking some NCAA rules.
The Big East is losing a lot of its luster
The Big East has long been one of the most competitive and followed conferences in the NCAA. It is now being broken up and losing a lot of its heavy hitters. As mentioned above, Syracuse, Notre Dame and Pitt are leaving for the ACC this year. UCONN, Cincinatti, South Florida and Louisville are going to the AAC, which is essentially the Big East in football but not recognized as the Big East by other sports.
Those departures leaves seven teams: Marquette, Georgetown, Villanova, St. John’s, Seton Hall, Providence and DePaul. They will add three other teams to that, Butler, Xavier and Creigthon.
Butler has been one of the fastest rising teams in the nation in the last five or so years. They are well coached, recruit excellently from what they are able to reach and always compete extremely hard. They are a great addition to a depleted conference. Xavier is usually a competitive program and tends to make the NCAA tournament only to be out fairly early in the draw. Creighton is up and down but should add some competition to the Big East.
While it may not be the Big East of old, it will still provide some excellent basketball to Big East fans who are a little bit sad today.
As per College Basketball Talk, here is the full list of schools changing conferences:
Abilene Christian: Division II to the Southland
Boston U.: America East to the Patriot League
Butler: Atlantic 10 to the Big East
Cal St-Bakersfield: Independent to the WAC
Central Florida: Conference USA to the AAC
Charleston: SoCon to the CAA
Charlotte: Atlantic 10 to Conference USA
Chicago State: Great West to the WAC
Cincinnati: Big East to the AAC
UConn: Big East to the AAC
Creighton: Missouri Valley to the Big East
Denver: WAC to the Summit
FAU: Sun Belt to Conference USA
FIU: Sun Belt to Conference USA
George Mason: CAA to the Atlantic 10
Georgia State: CAA to the Sun Belt
Grand Canyon: Division II to the WAC
Houston: Conference USA to the AAC
Houston Baptist: Great West to the Southland
Incarnate Word: Division II to the Southland
Louisiana Tech: WAC to Conference USA
Loyola-Chicago: Horizon to the MVC
Loyola (MD): MAAC to the Patriot
UMass-Lowell: Division II to the America East
Memphis: Conference USA to the AAC
MTSU: Sun Belt to Conference USA
UMKC: Summit to the WAC
Monmouth: NEC to the MAAC
NJIT: Great West to Independent
New Orleans: Independent to the Southland
North Texas: Sun Belt to Conference USA
Notre Dame: Big East to the ACC
Oakland: Summit to the Horizon
Old Dominion: CAA to Conference USA
Pacific: Big West to the WCC
Pitt: Big East to the ACC
Quinnipiac: NEC to the MAAC
San Jose State: WAC to the MWC
SMU: Conference USA to the AAC
South Florida: Big East to the AAC
Syracuse: Big East to the ACC
Temple: Atlantic 10 to the AAC
UT-Arlington: WAC to the Sun Belt
UT-Pan American: Great West to the WAC
UT-San Antonio: WAC to Conference USA
Texas State: WAC to the Sun Belt
Utah State: WAC to the MWC
Utah Valley: Great West to the WAC
Xavier: Atlantic 10 to the Big East