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Mass-defection from Big East could affect City 6

There will almost certainly be a trickle-down effect on the City 6 after Villanova's departure from the Big East.

Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

The withdrawal of seven Catholic non-football schools, including Villanova, from the Big East on Saturday could have a large effect on Philadelphia's other five basketball programs, writes's Nick Menta.

Temple, St. Joe's, La Salle and Drexel all find themselves in precarious positions. Temple's new conference is crumbling beneath it, and the other three exist as basketball-only entities, without a stake in the larger football picture and subject to a suddenly volatile basketball landscape.

Villanova, Marquette, St. John's, Seton Hall, DePaul, Georgetown and Providence all decided to bail from the Big East, leaving a proud basketball league with a very dim future thanks to football-sparked realignment. The Big East could resort to folding after 2015, or could look to schools in other conferences to fill the void, with numerous Atlantic 10 programs, as well as at least two City 6 schools, posing logical options.

Those same schools would likely be pursued by the seven Catholic defectors for an entirely new conference, leaving quite a bit of drama left to unfold in the years to come.