Saturday night at Madison Square Garden marked the end of an era in Men’s College Basketball. In case you missed it, Louisville beat Syracuse by a score of 78-61 to capture their 2nd straight Big East Conference Tournament Championship. That final score is not exactly an indication of the way the game went, but I’ll get into that in a minute. This is meant as a tribute to the Big East, in my estimation the best conference in Men’s basketball for the past 15 years. Some can argue for the ACC, but after Duke and North Carolina that Conference isn’t made od much. Year after year we have seen 7 or 8 teams enter the NCAA tournament from the Big East. And as for the Big East tournament, there has been no other place to find more thrilling games (thanks Madison Square Garden). If you think college players don’t get up for a game on Madison Square Garden’s floor, than you are crazy. We have had the privilege of watching Uconn, Syracuse, Georgetown, Louisville, Marquette, West Virginia, Providence, St. John’s, DePaul, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, South Florida, Rutgers, Villanova, and Seton Hall battle it out on the hardwood for years. And now sadly, thanks to the all mighty dollar, the Big East will be disbanding in the coming months.
The final game for the Big East was not the overtime thriller we’ve grown accustom to, but it certainly had it’s own type of drama. Syracuse looked like they were cruising to a victory and the Big East Conference title. However, Louisville had something else to say about that. With 15:34 left to play in the 2nd half, Syracuse held a 16 point lead (45-29). What happened next was epic. Louisville turned up the volume on every aspect of the game. They proceeded to go on a 49-16 run to close the game, winning by 17 points!! The comeback was truly a team effort, but the Cardinals were led by Montrezl Harrell, who scored 12 of his 20 points in the 2nd half. With their Championship victory, Louisville has most likely planted themselves firmly as the #1 overall seed of the NCAA Tournament. The NCAA Tournament is awesome, but it has definitely lost some of it’s flare. There is a significant amount of parody in Men’s College Basketball these days. Parody is not a good thing for this tournament. People want to watch great teams dominate, just as they want to watch history unfold right before their eyes. Do you honestly feel confident in picking the winner of the tournament this year? I know I don’t. Indiana??? Maybe??? I have no clue, and that’s why I might as well let my cat Precious fill out my bracket by scratching the team she likes on the paper. Ah, I suppose I’ll watch anyway, but this whole one and done stuff is ruining college basketball (thanks David Stern). I digress. I’ll get back to my problems with Men’s College Basketball another time. For now, let’s get back to remembering the big East for the good times they gave us, and wondering what the landscape of Men’s College Basketball will look like for years to come. It is a shame that the Big East will be splitting up, but time goes on I guess. We will just have to man up and get over it, because what other choice do we have, right?
NCAA Men’s College Basketball has many problems that I will cover in a future article. These problems include players being forced to enter College for at least one year before entering the NBA draft. If you can’t force a student-athlete to complete all 4 years in college in order to receive a degree, than they should be left to decide their own future. David Stern shouldn’t be the one to come up with such a foolish rule just to save his reputation. Another problem is money of course. What else is new right? If these schools and organizations can profit so much from the hard work and dedication of these players, who is to say that the players don’t deserve a fair share of the profits? I am in favor of players being on a pay scale while they are in school. I’ll see if I can fully tackle these major issues in the near future. For now, enjoy selection Sunday which is coming up momentarily. Check back to find my predictions for the free for all that is the NCAA Tournament.
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