I’m going to miss Big East basketball.
I’m strictly a basketball guy, so I hate this conference realignment stuff, but mainly just because it messed up the Big East. And I hate how teams were jumping ship to go to the ACC.
I loved Big East basketball, I loved how deep they were, I loved the style of play (though that was probably more in my mind). Putting so many teams in the tournament, different teams a threat to win the conference and the national tourney every year.
The Big East was tough, gritty, and hardcore like 90’s New York hip hop. The Big East was Wu-Tang, Nas, Mobb Deep, Public Enemy, while the Pac 10 was the West Coast rappers like: Dre, Cube, Snoop, and then the ACC was the more mainstream hip hop, acts like Puffy, LL Cool J, Timbaland, Mase, Coolio. Sure a lot of it’s preference, but I know which one I prefer, hands down. Now with so many schools jumping ship (especially to the ACC), it’s like when my favorite hip hop acts sell out and go mainstream.
Or instead of hip hop I can compare it to the NBA. The ACC was where Kobe and LeBron would be playing, while the Big East would be the 2008-present Celtics, the Pistons from the 2000’s, the Iverson Sixers team that went to the Finals. There were beasts like Kendrick Perkins and Ron Artest patrolling the Big East courts, along with underdogs with no fear like an Iverson. The ACC had the Lakers/Dukes and Miami/UNC’s that were always hyped beyond belief, even though the Big East heavyweights could always hold their own with them. Phil Jackson coaches in the ACC, guys like Larry Brown, Doug Collins, Jeff Van Gundy coach in the Big East.
The Saturday night Big East championship in NYC, in Madison Square Garden, had such a special feel to it, like a hyped up, heavyweight boxing match that delivers an awesome fight. While those ACC, Pac 10, Big 12 championships on Sunday afternoon felt so blah, like Sunday afternoon baseball.
I look at a team like Boston College, the best they ever did in the ACC was when they first arrived, fresh out the Big East. To me, that’s because they were still playing that Big East style of ball. They weren’t scared of Duke or UNC. It wasn’t long before they lost that Big East toughness though, and haven’t been the same since. You took them out the jungle and they forgot how to survive in the wild.
Though I like the idea of those 7 Catholic schools forming their own league. It just won’t be the same without Syracuse, and Pitt, and UConn, and Louisville, etc. They’ll probably retain that Big East style that I like so much, just on a much smaller scale. Back to my hip-hop analogy: it’ll be like when someone big in the 90’s (Nas, Wu-Tang, etc.) releases an album now, even though I still love it, and it’s still getting critical acclaim, it’s just not making the same dent in the music landscape as it did in the past. Like Cuban Linx or Illmatic compared to Cuban Linx II or Nas’s Untitled album. Ya they’re all praised by critics, but those later albums will never be considered classics like those earlier ones, partly because the music landscape has changed so much. Just like the college athletics landscape.
I’m going to miss the Big East.