Big East, Catholic 7 reach agreement

The Big East Conference is expected to announce Thursday that it has reached an agreement with the Catholic 7 basketball schools, allowing for their departure this summer, sources said.

The agreement between the Big East and the Catholic 7 -- DePaul, Georgetown, Marquette, Providence, Seton Hall, St. John's and Villanova -- will allow those schools to keep the Big East name and the right to play their basketball tournament at Madison Square Garden, sources said.

The seven schools will depart on June 30 and will begin their new league on July 1, sources said. They are expected to add Butler and Xavier and likely Creighton to have at least a 10-team basketball league for the 2013-14 season, according to sources.

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