Georgetown in favor of quick Big East breakup

Associated Press  |  Last updated March 01, 2013
While Georgetown's visits to Syracuse will be missed, no one is pining for another Hoyas trip to, say, South Florida. For that reason and many more, the breakup of the Big East might as well be over and done with as soon as possible. Georgetown coach John Thompson III would mind that at all. ''I've said from the beginning: the sooner the better,'' Thompson said Friday. ''That's best for every and all parties in our situation. In other conferences, if you know there's going to be a change, the sooner the better.'' Seven non-football Big East schools are breaking away to form their own conference. Georgetown, St. John's, Villanova, DePaul, Marquette, Seton Hall and Providence want to be in a league that once again showcases basketball, evoking the original intent when the Big East was founded more than three decades ago. Big East bylaws require that departing members give 27 months' notice, but talks are under way to accelerate the process. The new league could debut as early as next season. But there are logistics to work out in a hurry if that is to happen, many of them having to do with money. The splinter schools want to retain the Big East name and play the conference tournament at Madison Square Garden. Also, seven schools aren't enough to sustain a major conference, so Butler and Xavier are among the prime candidates to join in. ''I'd love to call it the Georgetown League myself,'' Thompson said with a chuckle. The presidents of the Big East schools met Friday in Atlanta but did not announce a resolution. If these are indeed the last days for the Hoyas in the super-sized Big East, they're certainly poised to go out with a bang. Georgetown (22-4, 12-3) has won 10 straight, including a double overtime victory at UConn on Wednesday, and sits at No. 7 in the AP poll. The way the upsets are falling this week - and with possibly more to come over the weekend - the Hoyas could conceivably get some No. 1 votes next week if they don't stumble Saturday at home against Rutgers (15-12, 7-8). ''It's a little different. We have a target on our back,'' forward Nate Lubick said. ''It was kind of the opposite at the beginning of the year, but we embrace it. We treat every game the same.'' Thompson isn't kind to make a fuss over a No. 1 team ranking, but he doesn't mind making a case for his No. 1 player, sophomore Otto Porter, who scored 33 points last weekend at Syracuse and put in the winning bucket at UConn. Asked on Friday how to define a player of the year, Thompson spelled out his answer. ''O-t-t-o.'' --- Follow Joseph White on Twitter: http://twitter.com/JGWhiteAP
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