UConn rejoins BIG EAST after unanimous vote

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UConn rejoins BIG EAST after unanimous vote

Photo by John Steppe

Photo by John Steppe

Photo by John Steppe

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The University of Connecticut will rejoin the BIG EAST as an 11th member, the conference announced Thursday morning following a unanimous vote from the 10 presidents of BIG EAST institutions Wednesday. The soonest UConn could join the conference is July 1, 2020.

With over 30,000 students, UConn will be the first public institution entering the BIG EAST. Twenty of UConn’s 24 sports will be housed in the conference. UConn’s women’s golf and men’s lacrosse teams will not be joining the conference.

The Huskies were a charter member of the BIG EAST until 2013, when the football and non-football members of the conference split off. Since then, UConn has been in the American Athletic Conference.

Men’s and women’s basketball will continue the double round-robin conference schedules, expanding the conference schedule to 20 games.

In women’s basketball, adding the Huskies will pose a new challenge for DePaul and Marquette, who have met in the last three conference championships. After leaving the BIG EAST, UConn went on to win three consecutive NCAA Championships from 2014-’16.

UConn men’s basketball won the 2014 NCAA Tournament but have struggled since then. Under new head coach Dan Hurley, the  Huskies finished with a 16-17 overall record, most notably with an 83-76 win over Syracuse University Nov. 15.

UConn men’s basketball has the most BIG EAST regular season titles with 10 and are tied with Georgetown with seven conference tournament titles.

“The BIG EAST is an incredibly special and an enduring part of our heritage,” UConn president Susan Herbst said in a statement. “Our programs grew and thrived in this conference over decades. … Coming back here means UConn is coming home.”

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