Amidst a wave of conference realignment around the NCAA, rumors regarding a possible Big East expansion have begun to swirl.
The most intriguing name mentioned as a possible program to join the conference’s current 11-team field is the mid-major powerhouse Gonzaga Bulldogs.
But on Wednesday, college basketball insider Jeff Goodman shot these rumors down.
“Gonzaga and Big East rumors. Just bad rumors,” he wrote on Twitter. “Never say never, but not happening anytime soon.”
Gonzaga and Big East rumors. Just bad rumors.
Never say never, but not happening anytime soon.
— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanHoops) April 6, 2022
The college basketball world took to Twitter to react to this news.
“Gonzaga, Big East. Something seems off here…..” one wrote.
“There really needs to be a ‘Big East’ type of conference for the West Coast schools. In other words, a conference west of the Mississippi driven and fueled by Basketball powerhouses,” another added.
I’m sure Providence is eager to send the baseball team to Spokane for the weekend. https://t.co/Y3QVYX6bSO
— James Kratch (@JamesKratch) April 6, 2022
Let’s make it happen! Damn the consequences of what happens to that program when Coach Few retires. https://t.co/PoTkwJ32hK
— GonzagaShouldJoinTheBigEast (@BigEastGonzaga) April 6, 2022
Aside from the glaring issue that Gonzaga is located in Spokane, Washington, the Big East actually makes sense as a new conference for the Bulldogs.
With the exceptions of Butler and UConn, each school in the Big East is a private, Catholic university — as is Gonzaga. The Big East is also a basketball-focused conference — another reason why the football-teamless Zags would fit right in.
Gonzaga currently plays in the West Coast Conference, a group that they’ve dominated for decades. Since 1987, the Bulldogs have claimed 20 WCC tournament championships.
Mark Few and the Zags have become well-known for their regular-season dominance followed by underachievement in the NCAA Tournament. If the program could play in a conference with a higher level of competition, perhaps they could become better equipped for postseason success.
Back in 2018, Gonzaga reportedly considered a move to the Mountain West. The PAC-12 has also been mentioned as a possible landing spot, but the lack of a football team could make that move difficult.
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