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AP Sources: Xavier ready to join new Big East

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Xavier is ready to join the reconfigured Big East, which will announce its expansion plans on Wednesday, two sources familiar with the moves told The Associated Press.

Seven Catholic schools split off from the Big East to form a basketball league last week, retaining the name and looking to add schools. The league plans to announce its plans on Wednesday morning in New York City.

Xavier scheduled a news conference following the league's announcement to discuss its move, two persons familiar with the decision told The AP. They spoke on condition of anonymity because the Big East had not announced the additional teams.

Georgetown, St. John's, Providence, Seton Hall, Villanova, Marquette and DePaul are leaving the Big East _ and taking the conference name with them _ to form a basketball league, looking to add teams. Xavier was one of the most attractive to the new league _ a Jesuit school with a history of basketball success.

The Musketeers missed out on the NCAA tournament this season, playing with a young lineup. They had been one of only eight teams to make the tournament each of the last seven seasons. They reached the round of 16 last year.

Xavier joined the Atlantic 10 in 1995 after 16 years in the Midwestern Collegiate Conference. The Musketeers grew into one of the league's most dominant teams, winning at least a share of five straight regular-season titles while making all those NCAA tournament appearances.

It's the first loss for the A-10, which added Butler and Virginia Commonwealth for this season, bringing its membership to 16 schools. It started as a basketball-only league in 1975 with eight schools. Five of its teams got into the NCAA tournament this year.

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Follow Joe Kay on Twitter: http://twitter.com/apjoekay

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