Conference Realignment: West Virginia Leaves Big East For Big 12, Could Memphis Replace Them?

The big news in the world of conference realignment on Tuesday involved West Virginia's likely imminent departure from the Big East to the Big 12, replacing a departed Missouri team which is reportedly headed to the SEC. The Big East, which just doubled its exit fee for its members in a unanimous vote last week, is still scrambling to fill the holes left by Syracuse, Pittsburgh, and now likely West Virginia.

A new candidate for Big East Expansion, however, potentially emerged late Tuesday night. According to Pete Thamel, that candidate is the Memphis Tigers.

Via Pete Thamel of The New York Times:

I am hearing Memphis is gaining traction in Big East, thanks to BE hoops concerns, to replace WVU. In convo with Temple.

It's interesting that the Big East could now be pivoting from football concerns to addressing the attrition on the basketball side of the conference, which has always been its bread and butter. In football, Memphis may be the least competitive team currently playing in the NCAA's FBS. Thamel later indicated that they are simply being discussed because of basketball, and that at this point, it's still premature to think that talks with the Tigers are too far down the road.

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