Re: If the Catholic 7 gets who everyone thinks they will and a couple long shots.......
I really like this idea. In fact, I had this idea and mentioned it the Jim Calhoun thread. I personally wouldn't add Gonzaga, for the logistical reasons you brought up. And a smaller conference where you could play at least some home and homes would look particularly charming these days. The team I would Chase would probably be St. Joe's. I'd like Temple too, but there football program is too big, even as middling as it is. But a conference built on the catholic NY/NJ/Phili schools would be awesome.
One thing I'd add is that I find it hard to believe that MSG is going to sit there and let March roll by without hosting a college basketball tournament after what? three decades of hosting the Big East. They weren't hosting it because it wasn't profitable. Now I've talked to a few people who have told me that it's not impossible that even the ACC wouldn't be opposed to doing it's tournament there even on a bi-anual basis with Charlotte, but I'm guessing they'd get way to much push back from the traditional ACC schools. But realistically, this catholic conference would be a better fit. And adding some of these other schools, like Butler in particular, and letting them get more TV time against these current Big East teams, and then having them play in a major conference tournament in The Garden, could greatly increase their recruiting profile, especially in the northeast, and you may see a bump in some these teams overall.
I really hope this works out.