<
>

Pasqualoni in favor of expansion west

UConn coach Paul Pasqualoni said he is in favor of the Big East moving West in expansion, saying, "I'm hoping that's the way it goes, the sooner the better."

Pasqualoni spoke Friday as he previewed his team's game against Pitt next Wednesday. The Big East is reportedly interested in Boise State, Air Force, SMU and Houston as it tries to get to a 12-team model. Pasqualoni served as an assistant for the Dallas Cowboys, so he is familiar with the area. Plus, Texas would be opened up to the Big East in recruiting, something that many teams hoped for with the failed addition of TCU.

"You get a chance to be down in Houston, you get a chance to be in the (Dallas-Fort Worth) metroplex. I'd love it," Pasqualoni said.

Pasqualoni echoed the thoughts of UConn president Susan Herbst, who told USA Today this week that going west was an inevitability for this league.

But as we all know, the Big East could very well be at the mercy of Missouri. In the latest news on that front Friday, the governing curators at the school unanimously gave Chancellor Brady Deaton the authority to move the school out of the Big 12 if he decides that is in the best interest of Mizzou.

He gave no timeline for a decision but said, "We're not looking at a long time frame."

While Big East commissioner John Marinatto said this week that the Big East would not be waiting on the Missouri situation to play out, UCF athletic director Keith Tribble had a different viewpoint -- one shared by most.

Tribble told The Orlando Sentinel that UCF had not received a formal invitation from the Big East, and said school officials would be monitoring what happens with Missouri.

"Missouri's decision is going to play a key role in what happens ultimately in the whole scenario," Tribble said.

Indeed, if Missouri leaves for the SEC, Louisville and West Virginia are said to be the top two targets of the Big 12.