Jim Boeheim is the Big East. He’s was the Syracuse head coach in 1979 when the conference was formed and through the decades – and 900 victories – he’s been a staple of the Big East. That is until next season, when the Hall of Famer and his Orange join the ACC as part of the destruction of the league.
Syracuse, Pitt, Notre Dame, and Louisville will all join the ACC, while Rutgers heads to the Big Ten. Meanwhile, the seven Catholic schools are ready to jump ship and form a new league, leaving UConn and Cincinnati to try and find new homes.
Despite all the realignment, Boeheim would like to keep at least a fraction of Big East tradition alive. On his weekly radio show on TK99 radio, the Syracuse coach said he would like to keep some of Cuse’s Big East rivalries alive moving forward.
“We are talking to St. John’s, Villanova and Georgetown. We want to play at least two of them a year,” said Boeheim. “We want to get to New York, Philadelphia and Washington. We will try to get to New York as much as possible.”
Boeheim has been vocal about realignment, including a rant following a Nov. 21 win against Princeton about the lack of importance rivalries have:
“Rivalries don’t matter to anyone anymore. If you ask someone at West Virginia if they like going to Texas Tech or Texas and all those places, ask their fans whether they really like that. Maybe they do. I don’t know. I don’t get it. It’s just the way it’s going. There’s nothing you can do about it.
“Like I said, if these guys [conference commissioners] were running the United States in colonial times, Brazil and Argentina would be states because they have something we need. It’s a great country.”
For Boeheim and Syracuse basketball, even an annual game against a rival like a Georgetown – a rivalry that helped build the league to what it once was – could salvage some of the damage football has inflicted on the basketball league.