Fresno St. Alum wrote:
CAA candidates are extremely interesting because the power of the league is in A-10 markets:
VCU: Richmond VA (Richmond)
GMU: outside DC (GW)
Drexel: Philly (SJU, LaSalle)
I could really see Butler being the target candidate. Two Final Fours and the Indy market. Travel partner with SLU (Not that hoops does travel partners).
Hoops are the main reason for travel partners. Example say USC and UCLA play at OSU and Oregon on Thurs, then on sat UCLA plays OSU and USC plays Oregon.
I think Butler is easily the top choice, look at what they have done, look at where they are and they are a private school like most of the A-10. What 10 of 14 are private now I think.
That works in the West because schools are spread out. But the A-10 is Wednesday-Saturday because their TV deal kinda screws with travel partners. They make a schedule with the partners, but then shuffle games based on when ESPN/CBSCS wants to put select games like Temple-SJU, Dayton-Xavier, etc on. So it's semi-travel partners, but with a lot of swapping.
The A-10 travel partners when CHAR-SLU joined the league paired them together, because GW-Richmond worked with two Philly schools together, and a Philly school pairing with Fordham; CHAR-SLU was a direct flight. Made the most sense.
With a Philly school leaving, you could do CHAR-RICH, GW-Fordham (or GW-Philly1; Fordham-Philly2) and Butler-SLU.
In volleyball, with not every team having the sport, SLU is travel partners with Duquesne (Pitt-STL a direct flight) instead of splitting up XU-UD.
I think Butler works best because while VCU and GMU have recent Final Four runs, so does Butler and it's a big non-duplicate market. It's private without a budget that would throw off the balance of power in the A-10 too badly. They're be a drop off from the decades of success that Temple has had (but lets be honest, aside from adding Gonzaga, anyone would be a drop off from Temple in MBB).
Butler is probably the best MBB program not en route to a BCS AQ league right now.