Big East coaches want 18-team tourney

Temple and Villanova could face an 18-team Big East tournament. (H. Rumph Jr/AP file photo)

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – The Big East basketball coaches want to make sure no team gets excluded from the conference tournament.

They expressed their desire Tuesday here at the conference’s spring meetings to continue to have all league teams compete in the Big East tourney when the conference expands to 18 teams in 2013-14.

There would be two play-in games just to get the 16-team tourney format the conference currently has.

 “To me the impression was they wanted to give all of the student athletes the opportunity to play,” Big East interim commissioner Joe Bailey said. “ And when you eliminate two right from the beginning, that’s not a healthy situation. You have two schools from two teams that are watching it  on Television.”

The conference presidents will make a decision on any recommendations made at the spring meetings.