Big East basketball will never be the same

1 Comment

source: AP

The Big East’s downfall began once Pitt and Syracuse bolted. West Virginia leaving didn’t help either.

But Tuesday cemented the once-proud college basketball conference into a hoops afterthought.

The conference will add Houston, Central Florida and SMU to its basketball rotation starting in 2013, which is basically replacing a Porsche, a Ferrari and a Range Rover with three Hyundais. (San Diego State and Boise State are joining as football-only schools.) If UConn wasn’t happy about getting left behind back in August, I can only imagine how pleased the Huskies are by this development.

As Mike DeCourcy notes, none of the three new schools have anything to offer in hoops. Houston used to be good, but merely shows promise. UCF was an Atlantic Sun program a decade ago. And SMU? Why do the Mustangs even have hoops?

That makes half the league either in rebuilding mode (DePaul, Providence, Seton Hall, Houston) or building mode (Rutgers, South Florida) or irrelevance (SMU, UCF). Sure, the league’ll stick around – how can it not when UConn, Georgetown, Villanova, Louisville, and Marquette, among others? – but it’ll never be the same glorious conference it once was.

This graf by Matt Norlander sums it all up nicely:

Twenty years from now, I think we’ll look back at today, the days the news broke, as one of the critical notches in the timeline of the downfall of the Big East. It may not have been responsible for losing its place in the pecking order in the first place (re: the ACC taking Syracuse and Pitt), but it’s woefully out-thought itself by expanding across the country. It’s undeniably spreading itself too thin for the sake of trying to keep up in the football race, and even that’s clear to see it can’t do. You can make the argument Boise State’s already peaked as a program — and it’s sure as hell not a major TV market.

It’s enough to make me wish the remaining good basketball programs had been siphoned off by other conferences such as the ACC, Big 12 and SEC and leave the dregs to fend for themselves.

Then the Big East could’ve gone out on top, rather than turning itself into a sad, pathetic shell of its former self.

Related stories:

You also can follow me on Twitter @MikeMillerNBC.

NEW PODCAST: Recapping Feast Week

Kris Dunn
AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill
Leave a comment

We talk about a lot of stuff of the podcast today, mainly because a lot of stuff happened since we last spoke with you all.

For starters, we need to discuss the ‘realness’ of Syracuse and Xavier. Are they both truly top 15 teams, or do they just have top 15 resumes? We also dive into Chris Mack’s epic troll-job of Dayton at the Advocare Invitational final.

Other topics we touched on: Whether or not Scott is ever going to apologize to Wayne Selden, Wichita State’s tournament hopes, Texas A&M and whether we’d take Ben Simmons, Kris Dunn or Denzel Valentine today.

As always, you can subscribe to the podcast in iTunes right here. It’s the quickest way to get access on your cell phone or tablet.


AP Poll: Syracuse, Xavier big winners in college basketball rankings

(Brad Horrigan/The Courant via AP)
Leave a comment

The new college basketball AP Poll is out, and it shouldn’t be much of a surprise to you that Syracuse and Xavier are the big winners.

The Orange steamrolled through a good Battle 4 Atlantis field, while Xavier capped a dominating performance in the Advocare Invitational with a 29-point win over Dayton. It should be no surprise that they are where they are.

[MORE RANKINGS: NBCSports.com top 25 | Coaches Poll]

It is a bit surprising, however, that both Texas A&M and Providence made it into the polls with a loss this week. They both deserve to be there, I just wasn’t sure they were both going to be.

Anyway, here is the full poll:

1. Kentucky (59 first place votes)
2. Maryland (4)
3. Michigan State (2)
4. Kansas
5. Iowa State
6. Oklahoma
7. Duke
8. Villanova
9. North Carolina
10. Virginia
11. Purdue
12. Xavier
13. Gonzaga
14. Syracuse
15. Oregon
16. Vanderbilt
17. Cincinnati
18. Texas A&M
19. Arizona
20. West Virginia
21. Miami
22. SMU
23. Providence
24. Louisville
25. Baylor

NEW THIS WEEK: Syracuse, West Virginia, SMU, Providence, Louisville

DROPPED OUT: Indiana, Cal, UConn, LSU, Wichita State