It’s a rarity at this level, in any sport, for a head coach to have had no playing experience in college. It hasn’t prevented Williams from guiding Marquette to the Sweet 16 the last two seasons and a 60-30 regular season record in the Big East.
The death of the Big East as we know it hit home last week as 14 teams arrived at the World’s Most Famous Arena (Connecticut was ineligible). Next season, the “Catholic 7” will be reportedly joined by Butler, Creighton, and Xavier in a basketball-only conference that has paid to keep the Big East name.
Yesterday was a relatively drama-free Selection Sunday. Joe Lunardi was a perfect 68 for 68, as Middle Tennessee State, St. Mary’s, Boise State, and La Salle claimed the final spots in the field. Louisville, Gonzaga, Kansas, and Indiana earned the top seeds.
The number four seed Orange will fac Montana in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
Syracuse and Georgetown, one more heavyweight clash in Madison Square Garden. Two original Big East titans toe-to-toe on the New York stage. Jim Boeheim. John Thompson III. One … last … time.
Steve Lavin has only been at the helm of St. John’s basketball for three seasons, but each year of his New York tenure has been marked by dramatic highs and lows that don’t appear to be stopping anytime soon.
James Southerland and Michael Carter-Williams kept Syracuse’s run at one more title going, as the 19th-ranked Orange beat No. 17 Pittsburgh, 62-59, on Thursday at Madison Square Garden.
Jim Larranaga’s team has had a banner season, but they’ll likely have to beat Duke for a second time this season — this time with Ryan Kelly — to reinforce their potential to go deep in the NCAA Tournament.
Notre Dame will join the Atlantic Coast Conference starting next season, a year earlier than expected, following the split among the Big East’s football schools and seven Catholic schools that forming their own basketball-focused conference.
The Seton Hall Pirates (15-17) waited until the final minute of regulation to make it interesting, but the team from South Orange rallied in overtime to a 46-42 victory over the South Florida Bulls (12-19).
The Hoyas’ stifling defense held the Orange to 39 points in Syracuse’s Saturday defeat.
In a statement, Big East commissioner Mike Aresco said the sides “worked through a number of complex issues in an orderly, comprehensive and amicable manner marked by mutual respect.”
The basketball schools will receive $10 million, the Big East name and the right to play their conference tournament at Madison Square Garden.
The major college football members will meet in Atlanta on Friday to discuss the departure of the seven basketball schools that are planning to leave the conference and create a new league.
Soon the Big East will be a carcass, an empty vessel inside which will grow the weeds of recollections, snapshots and video tape. Some things evolve, other devolve.