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Big East Legacy
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hoops22 Offline
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Post: #1
Big East Legacy
There's been some discussion regarding the current Big East versus the league it was, up until the most recent conference realignment moves. It's an irrelevant discussion, as the league that was, is part of a bygone era, that will never be duplicated.

For starters you had the geography. The northeast has traditionally been a professional sports market, Yankees/Red Sox, Eagles/ Redskins being the types of games evoking the most passion. But for some reason college basketball developed a following just as passionate. And a natural offshoot of this was the bitter rivalries that developed. So many of these rivalries consisted of grudging respect, but an intense dislike for the opponent. John Thompson declaring with a smirk on his face "Manley Field House is officially closed" or Jim Boeheim shielding Pearl Washington from an on court scuffle at the Garden against Georgetown, is the kind of stuff true rivalries are made from. Not a bunch of suits in an ESPN boardroom, scratching their heads and trying to manufacture one they think they can promote to a gullible public.

Also the Big East was not a two team league. Every member played in a Final Four with the exception of DePaul, South Florida, and Cincinnati. The battles between these titans were played out in the most prominent basketball cathedrals in the country, with an intensity not seen in any other league. These were big media markets, where the spotlight was always on

You also had an amazing bunch of coaching legends as they were embarking on their ascent to the top of their profession. Rick Pitino, (both Providence and Louisville) Jim Boeheim, Jim Calhoun, Lou Carnesecca, John Thompson, Rollie Massimino, were all young and hungry, and making their mark. Not like the old lions of the current ACC looking to take one final lap before easing into retirement.

Then all of this culminated with the greatest conference tournament in history, at the greatest arena, in the greatest city. The games were intense from start to finish and MSG was filled to the rafters from beginning to end, regardless of who was playing. The bars would be full, arguments were endless, and everyone was having the time of their life. If you loved college basketball, you couldn't possibly ask for more. Eleven bids in a sixteen team league says it all.

All that has changed now. Today, rivalries are decided not by fans and athletic directors, but rather by ESPN concerning who might provide the most revenue to Disney's shareholders. And sadly, the schools and many of the fans are willing to go along with that mindset, if the price is right. Syracuse/Georgetown? A relic from the past, we can view this Saturday, like an old Beatles clip from the Ed Sullivan show.

I enjoy the current version of the Big East and appreciates it's efforts to recapture the magic. There are still some great rivalries, and the competition remains intense. But there is no denying a special time in basketball history is gone forever, not to return here, or anywhere else. Old guard ACC fans would never understand what I'm talking about Imagine the four North Carolina teams and multiply it by about twenty, and you might come close. And to the old time Big East fans, you know exactly what I'm talking about.
12-04-2015 02:03 PM
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stever20 Online
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Post: #2
RE: Big East Legacy
Great post.... 1 point I would bring up about the old big east. It also had the NCAA tourney success. 20 final 4's and 7 national titles. think about it- 7 titles- all in a 30 year period from 1984-2013(and I guess 19 of the 20 final 4's). With the single greatest tournament year ever in 1985.
12-04-2015 02:24 PM
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stever20 Online
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RE: Big East Legacy
the one thing I wonder with the new version, is if the rivalries have that same dislike that the old ones did. Sorry but X/Georgetown doesn't feel as bitter as Georgetown/Syracuse did back in the early 80's.

And I do wonder as well if geography will hold back the league. I mean- can Creighton for instance develop into any sort of intense rivalry with any of Seton Hall, St John's, Nova, Georgetown, or PC?
(This post was last modified: 12-04-2015 02:35 PM by stever20.)
12-04-2015 02:35 PM
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MUAvalanche Offline
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RE: Big East Legacy
(12-04-2015 02:35 PM)stever20 Wrote:  the one thing I wonder with the new version, is if the rivalries have that same dislike that the old ones did. Sorry but X/Georgetown doesn't feel as bitter as Georgetown/Syracuse did back in the early 80's.

And I do wonder as well if geography will hold back the league. I mean- can Creighton for instance develop into any sort of intense rivalry with any of Seton Hall, St John's, Nova, Georgetown, or PC?

I don't know if a rivalry between Creighton and an east coast BE school can ever bring out the intensity that they had with Syracuse or UConn. Proximity helped with that, but so did a build-up of 30 years. The ability to match-up against another basketball-centric school twice a year may make things credible. The C7 saw USF and Rutgers for years, and except for the RU/SHU games, Creighton, X and Butler are an upgrade. I think Creighton has a better chance to develop some rivalry in the BE with an eastern school than the B10 seeing an intense Nebraska rivalry with Rutgers or Maryland in any sport.
12-04-2015 04:25 PM
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stever20 Online
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Post: #5
RE: Big East Legacy
Rutgers was a strange thing unto themselves. USF a bit different in that they were in the league only 8 years.
12-04-2015 04:29 PM
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xusandy Offline
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Post: #6
RE: Big East Legacy
Well, this discussion is all from the perspective of you guys who were fans of the old BEAST, and I know you had a great league and that a lot of old rivalries are gone. BUT, and as an XU fan, I can tell you that there are a lot more opportunities for intense rivalries for the Muskies now than there were before the new BEAST got formed. XU/UC (the Crosstown Shootout) is about as intense as a rivalry gets, but other than that and to a lesser extent Dayton, XU never had truly intense rivals.

Now we've already developed a very intense rivalry with Butler, and I think there's a pretty good chance that XU-Marquette and/or XU-Georgetown can become intense as well. XU and Marquette have disliked each other ever since the XU President went to MU and MU immediately left the old MCC for the Big East, while he made some derogatory comments about XU athletics. WE REMEMBER. And do any of you go back far enough to remember the "twin towers" game in the 1990 tourney, when XU's pair (Derek Strong and Tyrone Hill) outplayed Georgetown's pair (Mourning and Mutumbo) to pull off the upset? WE STILL DO!

The new BEAST is truly a league of very similar schools --all private, all Catholic (except Butler, and they're church affiliated), all with relatively strong academics, all basketball and not football driven, and maybe that's why they're so strong in soccer as well. Clearly we've done great in our first 2 years together. Our common identity and our lack of football should obviously appeal to lots of quality kids who are looking for D1 basketball or soccer scholarship offers, and that should enable us to keep getting stronger and stronger in coming years.

The only schools I see out there that fit our new identity and could bring something to the table, including the potential for more intense rivalries, are St. Louis and Dayton. St. Louis is a great fit, but has been much stronger historically in soccer than in basketball. They do bring a strong media market, and they would be a natural rival for lonely Creighton way out there in the corn. Dayton scores big on the "fit" and basketball quality metrics, and they did have a very strong rivalry with XU until we left them in the A10, but they bring no new media market. So maybe it makes sense to add one or both of them, and maybe not.

Intense rivalries take years and years to develop; we only have a 2 year old league identity so far. So give it time, and look forward, not back, my friends.
12-08-2015 11:48 AM
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MUAvalanche Offline
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Post: #7
RE: Big East Legacy
(12-08-2015 11:48 AM)xusandy Wrote:  Well, this discussion is all from the perspective of you guys who were fans of the old BEAST, and I know you had a great league and that a lot of old rivalries are gone. BUT, and as an XU fan, I can tell you that there are a lot more opportunities for intense rivalries for the Muskies now than there were before the new BEAST got formed. XU/UC (the Crosstown Shootout) is about as intense as a rivalry gets, but other than that and to a lesser extent Dayton, XU never had truly intense rivals.

Now we've already developed a very intense rivalry with Butler, and I think there's a pretty good chance that XU-Marquette and/or XU-Georgetown can become intense as well. XU and Marquette have disliked each other ever since the XU President went to MU and MU immediately left the old MCC for the Big East, while he made some derogatory comments about XU athletics. WE REMEMBER. And do any of you go back far enough to remember the "twin towers" game in the 1990 tourney, when XU's pair (Derek Strong and Tyrone Hill) outplayed Georgetown's pair (Mourning and Mutumbo) to pull off the upset? WE STILL DO!

The new BEAST is truly a league of very similar schools --all private, all Catholic (except Butler, and they're church affiliated), all with relatively strong academics, all basketball and not football driven, and maybe that's why they're so strong in soccer as well. Clearly we've done great in our first 2 years together. Our common identity and our lack of football should obviously appeal to lots of quality kids who are looking for D1 basketball or soccer scholarship offers, and that should enable us to keep getting stronger and stronger in coming years.

The only schools I see out there that fit our new identity and could bring something to the table, including the potential for more intense rivalries, are St. Louis and Dayton. St. Louis is a great fit, but has been much stronger historically in soccer than in basketball. They do bring a strong media market, and they would be a natural rival for lonely Creighton way out there in the corn. Dayton scores big on the "fit" and basketball quality metrics, and they did have a very strong rivalry with XU until we left them in the A10, but they bring no new media market. So maybe it makes sense to add one or both of them, and maybe not.

Intense rivalries take years and years to develop; we only have a 2 year old league identity so far. So give it time, and look forward, not back, my friends.

I believe that there will be no new Midwestern addition until an Eastern addition emerges. I also believe any discussion about new additions will be reserved until after the top 5 football conferences finish whatever expansion they are going to do. The 3 new schools have been a great fit. Over time, what was lost will be a memory and the new rivalries will take hold. These things evolve.
12-08-2015 04:26 PM
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trephin Offline
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Post: #8
RE: Big East Legacy
I remember that XU/GT game. It was great TV. I agree rivalries will take time to develop. I think the BET will help jumpstart things especially if a few teams end up going head to head in consecutive years. And just to add my two cents, I agree with MUAvalanche... I think the conference is waiting for an Eastern school to emerge to pair with IMO SLU.
12-08-2015 05:57 PM
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stever20 Online
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Post: #9
RE: Big East Legacy
I thought the BET last year with X and Georgetown was the first time this new conference was close to the old one in terms of the intensity. That game was great.
12-08-2015 06:16 PM
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stever20 Online
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RE: Big East Legacy
One thing that really pisses me off is when people from the 3 new schools try to say that the NBE is equal to the OBE.... That the OBE is in some way a fairy tale. It's absolute crap.
03-30-2016 01:48 PM
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