With all the talk about conference re-alignment, everyone seems to want to look at the repercussions on college football. Not a lot of talk has gone into the sport of college basketball but Louisville is stepping up because they want to save the Big East, a basketball powerhouse that has fallen on hard times over the past two weeks.
In 2010, the Big East featured powerhouses like Syracuse, West Virginia, Villanova, Pittsburgh, Marquette, Louisville, Georgetown, Notre Dame, Cincinnati, St. John’s and national champion Connecticut.
That is easily the best lineup of any conference in the nation. In the last two weeks Syracuse and Pittsburgh have announced they will leave the conference for the ACC. Of course, all the talk went to football and some argued that the Big East should join the remaining Big 12 teams if Oklahoma and Texas left the conference. This was in order to save the football programs.
Without Syracuse and Pittsburgh, the Big East lost two great basketball programs but, a quick look at the above names proves that the conference is still a solid gold basketball conference. It’s just too bad basketball is such a second child behind football.
However, Louisville head coach Rick Pitino has other thoughts and believes that the ACC chasing after Syracuse and Pitt was all about basketball.
“UConn, not long ago a Yankee conference school, has now won 10 national championships in women’s (7) and men’s college basketball (3),” Pitino said. “Both coaches have entered the Naismith Hall of Fame. The ninth ranked basketball team in the Big East accomplished the unthinkable, winning it all last year. Don’t think the ACC didn’t take note as they watched for a second year with only a limited number of their teams reaching the NCAA Tournament — four to be exact, compared to the Big East’s 11. Let’s get one thing clear: Syracuse and Pitt leaving the Big East is not about research or football. It is the ACC desire to return to the top conference in college basketball.”
Plus, TCU is scheduled to join the Big East in 2012. Then Pitino made a jab at the football programs.
“The big question for those who concern themselves with the future: Who will play in more football BCS bowl games? UConn, TCU, USF, or Louisville compared to Big East defections BC, Virginia Tech, Miami, and now Pitt and Syracuse.”
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