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Big East Extends Deal With Madison Square Garden


The Big East tournament is staying in the Big Apple.

The future of the Big East tournament staying in Madison Square Garden came under question after the conference took some blows recently with the defections of schools to other conferences. Big East commissioner, Mike Aresco, put any worries to rest on Wednesday as he announced the conference and MSG have reached a new multi-year agreement to keep the post-season tournament in New York.  The deal was announced at the New York Athletic Club.

The current deal went to 2016 and no official details have been provided as to the length of the new agreement.

With the West Virginia Mountaineers now in the Big 12, the Pittsburgh Panthers and Syracuse Orange headed to the ACC after this season (and the Notre Dame Fighting Irish likely headed there as well), some thought MSG might partner with another conference once the current deal expired with the Big East. There were options explored with the ACC before things fell through.

However, with the new agreement the Big East‘s post-season tournament will be staying in the location it’s been since 1983. Making the partnership the longest running conference tournament held at the same location in all of college basketball.

Only three other cities have ever held the Big East tournament, coming in the first three years of the tournament’s existence, Providence, RI in 1980, Syracuse, NY in 1981 and Hartford, CT in 1982.

The tournament has been very successful at MSG, with over 3.3 million fans having attended a game since 1983, with the last seven tournaments being advance sellouts.

The Connecticut Huskies and Georgetown Hoyas are tied for the most Big East conference championships with seven a piece. Pending a championship run this season, Syracuse will leave the conference with five, while Pittsburgh will have two.

The Louisville Cardinals won the championship in 2012 and are considered early favorites to repeat in 2013.