At the end of the day, there's going to be two different conferences on the East coast with catholic schools that play pretty good basketball:
St. John's, Providence, Seton Hall, Villanova and Georgetown will be in one; and St. Joe's, LaSalle, GW, URI and Fordham will be another one. Same as always.
What was the A-10 to do? NOT have teams in New York City, Philly and DC?
The ONLY way the BE catholic schools would EVER join a different league (rather than raid one) would be if during the 1990s, the whole MCC/GMW/CUSA thing broke differently, and there was currently a midwest "catholic league" of:
Xavier, Dayton, Saint Louis, Marquette, Butler, DePaul, Detroit (and maybe Duquense, St. Bona)
with Notre Dame, Charlotte and Temple (leaving for football reasons)
But when the A-10 was built upon the competing ECAC/Atlantic 10 core that has ALWAYS been kept at arm's reach by the Big East Catholics, there's always going to be two rival groups.
That's why the A-10 expanded to 14, then 16, BEFORE the Big East split happened. They pre-emptively knocked up-and-coming conferences like the Horizon and CAA (by stealing Butler and VCU) back down to one-bid leagues; and they prevented the MVC from passing them by taking Saint Louis.
The A-10 will probably reload to 12 teams, fortify, show everyone they are still a multi-bid league; THEN look at expansion if someone from the CAA or MAAC is doing their Butler/Gonzaga impression.
Indeed. Looks like the $500 million is based on 12 schools. Will be interesting to see how the Tier 2 split goes with the invitees...but the revenue for say, Xavier, will be 2-3x what they get in the A10, so I doubt they'll be too bothered.
For the invitees...
* It does look like Xavier, Butler, St. Louis are locks.
* Dayton looks to be the next in.
* VCU: For #5, it seems that VCU would have to be the pick...no knock on Creighton, but VCU has been too hot for too long to pass on them. A10 will certainly hope Creighton gets the spot.
So yes, 4-5 A10 schools will be gone.
* UMass sure is hoping for a nBE invite.
I know the instinct will be for the A10 to just repopulate with a few members. With GW, Richmond, St. Joseph's and even LaSalle in the A10...GMU might still be an option.
Then it's the same crew of options from the CAA, MAAC, and Horizon.
That said, I for one might not be too upset (if UMass got a nBE invite) to see the A10 call it quits.
Not that I don't think they'd still be the #2-#3 non-FB conference (C7+5 would be #1...WCC and A10 next)...
...but because I like what it could do to some of the other conferences:
Rhode Island: to the America East
Fordham: to the Patriot
LaSalle: to the MAAC
Saint Joe's: to the Patriot
George Washington: to the Patriot or CAA
St. Bonaventure: to the MAAC
Duquesne: to the MAAC
Richmond: to the Patriot
VCU: C7 or CAA
But it's more likely that the A10 at 9 (with UMass) or 10 (with VCU) would just remain as is. And rightly so. Still could add GMU and another to get to 12.