The death of the Big East as we know it hit home last week as 14 teams arrived at the World’s Most Famous Arena (Connecticut was ineligible). Next season, the “Catholic 7” will be reportedly joined by Butler, Creighton, and Xavier in a basketball-only conference that has paid to keep the Big East name.
James Southerland hit five 3-pointers in the first half to keep No. 19 Syracuse in the game and Brandon Triche keyed a big second-half run that gave the Orange a 75-63 victory over Seton Hall Wednesday in the second round of the Big East tournament.
The Big East tournament will have a touch of a wake to it this week. When games end, there will be plenty of reminiscing about rivalries and talk of what is to come.
Kelly Faris and Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis each scored 18 points to help No. 3 Connecticut bounce back from its loss to top-ranked Baylor with a 90-30 rout of Seton Hall on Saturday.
Napier had 22 points, nine assists and six steals and led a second-half comeback that carried Connecticut to a 78-67 victory over Seton Hall on Sunday.
The Big East –a proud league built on basketball moments like the 1985 Villanova Wildcats stunning conference rival Georgetown in the national championship game –will soon become extinct, even if the name lives on in some unrecognizable form.
The three New York area Big East schools all had new coaches to start the season, each trying to turn around a program in what is without argument the best conference in the country.