PHILADELPHIA (AP) _ Charlotte and Saint Louis were invited to join the Atlantic 10 Conference on Thursday in an expansion that would boost the league to 14 teams.

Charlotte and Saint Louis are currently in Conference USA, which already will lose Cincinnati, Louisville, South Florida, Marquette and DePaul to the Big East in 2005.

Charlotte athletic director Judy Rose said the school was ``thrilled to receive an invitation.''

``With the invitation comes access to greater information about the league. We have done our homework, but we are going to use the next few days to review their policies and formats,'' Rose said.

Saint Louis athletics director Doug Woolard said the Billikens were ``pleased and excited to be considered for expansion by the Atlantic 10,'' with which the school has exchanged information.

The Atlantic 10 already has 12 members: Dayton, Duquesne, Fordham, George Washington, La Salle, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Richmond, St. Bonaventure, Saint Joseph's, Temple and Xavier.