The above tweet has me pumped!
ESPN recently aired the much-anticipated documentary Requiem for the Big East as part of their 30 for 30 series. While I personally had several problems with the documentary (for better or worse, it focused almost exclusively on Syracuse and Georgetown, and it seemed unaware of its ultimate irony: the current Big East has more in common with the 1980s Big East the film glorified than the Big East that supposedly just “died” following the departures of ‘Cuse, UConn, and others), it was a fun ride and left me with plenty to think about. As my brother pointed out, the movie basically postulated that Big East = NYC = Basketball. To an extent, I buy that, and I’ll be the first one to tell you that New York is the best basketball city in the world.
The Big East still has a stranglehold on Madison Square Garden for its conference tournament. While the conference just had an absolutely dreadful NCAA Tournament showing (why, Creighton, why!?) and its brand has taken a bit of a hit, it should grow along with Fox Sports (which broadcasts the vast majority of the conference’s games) and the Big East Tournament should still remain a big thing for years to come.
But the reason the above news gets my heart racing is that it means the new big bully at the college basketball conference playground, the ACC–with Louisville soon to join a conference already led by Duke, UNC, Syracuse, and Pitt–will also be taking their tournament to New York City. The combined weight of having Big East hoops in Manhattan and ACC basketball in Brooklyn should make for an incredibly baller week/weekend in the sport’s unofficial capital.
The big losers in all of this are the Atlantic 10 (which currently holds its tourney in the Barclays Center) and the Greensboro Coliseum. The wildly underrated A-10 is unquestionably one of the best conferences in America, but its lack of big name programs remains an obstacle. The Coliseum, on the other hand, has been the longtime sometimes-host of the ACC Tournament. Despite its centralized location, it feels like the ACC has outgrown the 45 year old arena.
While the news might kinda suck for the A-10 and the some of the folks in Greensboro, it’s a pretty sweet deal for everybody else. The new ACC is an absolutely marquee basketball conference. Now it’s going to be moving its conference tourney to an equally tremendous venue. Hopefully this can become an indefinite and annual tradition!