The National, 5/30/12: Early Exit.

Two years ago, Brad Stevens matched wits with Shaka Smart in the Final Four (and won). Now, after keeping their jobs rather than being lured by desperate big-money programs, they'll get to do it two or three times a year. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

I'd Have Thought They'd Gotten the Memo: A couple of weeks ago, VCU bailed out of the CAA for the Atlantic 10 with immediate effect, no waiting necessary, after the CAA put a gun to their head and informed them that if they were leaving, they weren't getting a shot at any of the league's autobids in 2012-13. It was a stupid and pointless gesture which only served to devalue the CAA's television contract for the upcoming year, as VCU's response was the only sane response possible: "Okay, fine, we're leaving NOW."

And now the Horizon League, completely failing to comprehend what had just happened, put the exact same gun to the head of the Butler Bulldogs, with exactly the same result. Butler will now move directly to the Atlantic 10 effective pretty much immediately since there is no further conference competition awaiting Butler in the spring season. (Technically, it's July 1 as with all conference moves, of course.) It's even more astonishing that the Horizon would act out this way considering Butler was the face of the conference, and in both instances it's a case of the jilted conference essentially sacrificing potentially deep NCAA men's basketball tournament revenues as both teams have, you know, proven their ability to make deep tournament runs.

The move creates, for one season before Temple and Charlotte depart, a behemoth 16-team Atlantic 10 and one hell of an entertaining conference tournament at the shiny new Barclays Center in Brooklyn next March. Just so there's no confusion about what the A-10's going to be like next year, allow me to offer the following clarifications: Temple, Charlotte, Butler, VCU, St Louis, Dayton, Xavier, Richmond, Massachusetts, St Joseph's. Oh, and St Bonaventure, who surprisingly made the tournament field last year. Can you say stacked?

Spurrier and Miles, Live at the Sandestin Hilton: The SEC meetings are off and rolling, and oh boy howdy are the quotes just as awesome as you'd expect. Les Miles informs the world that the Big 12 is expanding, and that the "Champions Bowl" should be in New Orleans, and that "[everyone but the SEC] wants equity, and that's not necessarily fair". In other news, Les Miles prefers crawdads to crayfish, Krystal to White Castle, and thinks dogs are much better pets than canines. Steve Spurrier, meanwhile, thinks we should have an eight-team playoff just like the President said.

However, Oklahoma now seems to be splashing cold water on the whole expansion process, indicating that they're happy with things the way they are. Grain of salt, as with all things.

Requiescat en Pace: Craig Stanke, Deputy Managing Editor at CBSSports.com, passed away in his sleep Monday night. It was a shock, as he'd just participated in a Memorial Day 5K that morning and came in at under 23 minutes. You don't clearly see the impact of someone in Stanke's job -- even if you're a professional in the business, it can be hard to discern the editor's voice weaving its way through the individual voices of the reporters and columnists working under him. Still, CBSSports.com did have its own voice (even if some iterations of it were hard to like), and Stanke helped create it. Thoughts and prayers to Craig's family, and to all his great employees that frequently get mentioned here.

Diablerie: Connecticut has backed out of the Carrier Classic, apparently because they couldn't find an "appropriate" opponent. I read that as "someone with an impressive name on their jerseys that we can beat". ... Chad Renfro, a senior guard at Division II Barry, will spend the summer rehabbing... from a shark attack. ... Pat Summit received the Medal of Freedom from President Obama yesterday, alongside John Glenn, Bob Dylan, and Toni Morrison. ... The only porn I remember being filmed at L.A. Memorial Coliseum involved Ell Roberson and Josh Scobey running all over Trojans. Apparently, that's not the only porn that was filmed there in 2001.

Spring Championships: In D-II, West Chester and Delta State are through to the semifinals in baseball. West Chester awaits the winner of this afternoon's game between Southern New Hampshire and Minnesota State-Mankato, while tonight's Catawba/Saint Mary's (TX) winner will meet Delta State. In D-III Marietta currently leads Saint Thomas (MN) 2-0 in the bottom of the third; the winner will meet Wheaton (MA) in the finals this afternoon. No "if necessary" game here, as all three teams have suffered a loss this week.

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