There have been a couple updates in the past two days in regards to the status of the Catholic 7, the group of seven non-football playing members of the Big East that broke off from the league last month.
First and foremost, from Pete Thamel of SI.com, it appears as if VCU has become a serious candidate to be added to the conference, along with Xavier and Butler:
Sources say that talk about VCU for that spot has intensified the past few weeks, although it’s not clear how strongly VCU is being considered. VCU does not fit the template of private and religious schools. But there’s been discussion that it could be foolish to ignore VCU’s basketball success for the past decade, modern facilities and rabid fan base.
Thamel also provides some information in that report regarding a potential television contract between the new conference and FOX. A couple of notes: the league is looking for a 12-year deal worth around $3 million per school, and they are meeting today to discuss it. That’s roughly the same figure that Darren Rovell reported that the league was looking for over the weekend.
Meanwhile, Dennis Dodd reported earlier this week that the Big East, back before the Cathlolic 7 announced their split, asked for $300 million annually from ESPN. Their broadcast rights were reportedly valued around $60-$80 million a year.
You can find Rob on twitter @RobDauster.
Monmouth used a 17-2 run in the final minutes to beat Rider on Friday night, a win that will keep the Hawks within striking distance of the kind of an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament should they fall in the MAAC tourney.
The run was capped by star point guard Justin Robinson, who buried this three with three seconds left to put Monmouth up for good, 79-78:
Allonzo Trier scored 15 of his 18 points in the second half and Parker Jackson-Cartwright scored 16 points in his second career start as No. 17 Arizona knocked off UCLA, 81-75, in Tucson on Friday night.
UCLA was up by as much as 11 points in the first half and took a ten point lead into half time, but in the second half, the Bruins were eventually done in by foul trouble and the stronger front line of the Wildcats.
Ryan Anderson and Kaleb Tarczewski were dominant down the stretch. The duo combined to score 12 of the last 23 point for the Wildcats, including the bucket that put the Wildcats ahead for the first time since early in the first half. Off of a missed free throw, UCLA’s Thomas Welsh battled with Tarczewski for the rebound, but when Welsh finally seemed to gain control of the loose ball, Anderson knocked it out of his hands and bullied through Jonah Bolden for a layup.
All told, those two combined for 20 points and 27 boards, seven of which were offensive. They also managed to foul out both Welsh and Tony Parker, although some of the calls that went against UCLA down the stretch were questionable.
The win keeps Arizona within a game of first place Oregon in the Pac-12 standings and tied for second with No. 23 USC, who will be visiting the McKale Center on Sunday night.