Despite What You've Heard, This is Not the Big East's Final Tournament

By Ben Grimaldi
Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports

With NFL free agency going on and players changing teams every other minute, it reminds me of Big East basketball. With all the teams coming and going, in and out of the league and changing conferences, so things are definitely starting anew for many of the teams.

What hasn’t changed though, despite what you’ve been hearing over the past week, is the fact that the Big East Conference is still around. That’s right, the ‘Catholic Seven’ have kept the name Big East, will add quality teams and continue to play a high level of basketball. Which means for all of you calling this the ‘last Big East tournament,’ you should probably get your facts straight.

It is not the last Big East tournament, nor is it the last good Big East tournament. No matter what happens in the future, the tournament will still be played in the mecca of the sports world, New York City, at the World’s Most Famous Arena, Madison Square Garden, and it will still be called the Big East tournament.

I understand that it won’t have some of the big name school’s like Syracuse, Connecticut, Louisville or Pittsburgh that made the conference what is but it will still have classic programs like Villanova, Georgetown, St. John’s, Seton Hall and Providence College. By adding some of the best growing programs in college basketball like Xavier, Butler and Creighton, the conference will still be a premiere basketball league. Let’s not minimize what the conference will be or how the Big East tournament is viewed simply because a few teams left because they decided football and money were more important than tradition.

No, that shouldn’t be case and it won’t be in the future. And please don’t tell me the Big East tournament will never be the same because 25 years ago nobody thought it was going to be what it’s become so that argument rings hollow. Of course, the teams leaving will be missed but the Big East tournament will continue to thrive without them.

The last Big East tournament doesn’t begin tonight at MSG, the 34th edition is just getting started and I guarantee you the 35th edition will be played in the same place in 2014. Different, yes, but certainly not the final Big East tournament in the conferences illustrious history.

The Big East was born as a basketball conference and every year since 1983 it’s tournament has been held in Madison Square Garden, that’s called tradition. And it’ll continue to be one long after this year.

you can chat with or follow Ben on twitter @BenGrimaldi

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