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Lame-Duck Big East Teams Can Expect Unfriendly Farewell

Anthony Gruppuso-US Presswire

Imagine a guy whose girlfriend informs him that she’s leaving him for a richer, stronger and better looking dude. How would he feel about her living in his pad until the new guy’s condo is ready?

Exactly. Even if she endures the explosive expletives from her instant ex, the drawn-out departure could become unbearable.

The Syracuse Orange, Pittsburgh Panthers and Notre Dame Fighting Irish basketball teams can expect icy receptions from Tampa to Milwaukee as they began delayed defection from the Big East Conference to the Atlantic Coast Conference.

Wednesday, the Big East holds its annual media day in New York. Coaches and key players from all Big East schools will attend. There will be cordial smiles and handshakes among friends and foes.

However, fans won’t behave with as much civility. These lame-duck teams can expect to see and hear added hostility on Big East road trips.

The good riddance won’t end in the stands. If football is any indicator of what’s to come on the courts, these teams can look forward  to some in-your-face-as-you-walk-out-the-door effort from opponents. Syracuse and Pitt are a combined 1-4 in the Big East football conference. That one win belongs to Syracuse, who defeated Pitt 14-13.

Perhaps they should have gone the West Virginia route. Like most breakups, West Virginia’s depature from the Big East to the Big 12 turned nasty, but it was decisive. No leaving the toothbrush or DVD collection behind, just an “I’m outta here and here’s my share of the rent; at least what I think I owe you.”

It’s not pretty, but at least West Virginia isn’t waking up to the evil eye every morning.

Instead, Syracuse, Pitt and Notre Dame must withstand the residuals of rejection. The opposing team’s fans will hope for nothing less than humiliating beat downs. They will taunt these teams to the bitter end.

Then next year, these fans will welcome new members: Central Florida, Southern Methodist, Temple, Houston and Memphis, the teams who dumped their raggedy conferences for the richer, stronger, better looking Big East.