On Friday, it became official: The Big East announced its forthcoming fracture.
Seven Catholic schools are leaving — Marquette, Georgetown, Villanova, Providence, Seton Hall, DePaul and St. John’s — and they’re taking the Big East name with them to begin their own, new league on July 1. Those schools will officially be bringing in more teams in the near-future, and they will retain the rights to playing the Big East tournament at Madison Square Garden for the foreseeable future.
That means Connecticut, Cincinnati, South Florida, as well as incoming programs Memphis, Temple, Central Florida, Houston, SMU and (in two years) Tulane are part of a league that’s to-be-determined in both name and quorate. Louisville could also have a one-year holdover before moving to the ACC.
“I am pleased that this agreement has been reached,” Big East commissioner Mike Aresco said. “With the long-term well-being of our outstanding institutions and their student-athletes of paramount importance, each group worked through a number of complex issues in an orderly, comprehensive and amicable manner marked by mutual respect. We part ways as friends and colleagues and look forward to the success of both conferences.”
The news comes just a few days before the start of the Big East tournament. This will no doubt continue to be a major topic and a point of debate leading up to the NCAA tournament. Change is inevitable, but many still lament that it’s reached this point, that football found a way to lay ruin to a basketball conference.
But, college hoops just got another (good) league, even if it’s at the expense of the Big East’s tradition. A league that was premiere for more than three decades isn’t no more — it’s just changed. We can only hope for the better.