The Big East Conference now has 17 teams with this year's addition of Texas Christian University, and Syracuse basketball coach Jim Boeheim says they all belong in the Big East conference tournament, held at the end of the season in New York City's Madison Square Garden.
Before 2009, only the top 12 teams in the Big East conference were invited to the tournament. At the end of the 2010-2011 season, all 16 teams played in the tourney. Boeheim said he believed the tournament should involve all Big East teams no matter how many join the conference.
I don't think you can have a viable league and have 12 groups of players come to New York and the other five sit home, said Boeheim. I don't think that's good for the league, the players, or the fans of any programs to not go to the Big East tournament.
Boeheim pointed out that the University of Connecticut basketball team won the NCAA tournament this year immediately after playing five games in the Big East tournament, so arguing that the addition of games compromises a team's ability to do well in the national tourney doesn't make sense.
The coach also refuted rumors that the Big East would fracture into two pieces, one for teams with prominent basketball programs and one with football programs.