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Big East Tournament changes in 2012-13

Next year's Big East Tournament will have to compensate for two fewer teams.
Next year's Big East Tournament will have to compensate for two fewer teams.

Thanks to the departure of West Virginia (godspeed, Mountaineers) and the postseason tournament ineligibility of the Connecticut Huskies, the Big East Tournament will have a different look next year, with only 14 teams.

To manage having two fewer teams, the league will do the following, as reported by Mike Waters of the Syracuse Post-Standard:

Keeping with recent form, the top four teams in the final regular season standings will receive double-byes, advancing directly to the quarterfinals on Thursday.

In recent years, the teams that finish fifth through eighth will have first-round byes and will begin play in Wednesday's second-round games.

In 2013, the teams that finish ninth and 10th also figure to receive first-round byes.

The remaining four teams would then play in a double-header on Tuesday, according to the source. The No. 11 seed would play No. 14, while No. 12 would play No. 13.

So there's only one first-day doubleheader, with the bottom four teams playing a pair of play-in games on Tuesday. Schedule-wise, one hopes these are night games for better attendance.

More changes will come, with Syracuse and Pittsburgh likely to leave the Big East conference in 2013 (details are still to be worked out), and the entry of Houston, Southern Methodist, Memphis, and Central Florida on the basketball side in 2013, with Temple likely to come a year after that.

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