Nova Wildcats just won the NCAA championship for the second time in three years, the city of Philadelphia is going wild. An NCAA championship and the Super Bowl in the same year, and Charles Barkley just boldly predicted the 76ers will win the NBA championship. Although, he may just be slightly joking there is always a possibility. But this post is not the success of Philly, it is about the Big East Conference.

When I was younger the Big East Conference was one of if not the best conference in college basketball. Remember Georgetown with Patrick Ewing, Reggie Jackson, David Wingate and Michael Graham, St. Johns with Chris Mullins, Mark Jackson, Walter Berry, and Boo Harvey. Syracuse Derrick Coleman, Billy Owens, Sherman Douglass, and Pearl Washington. Pittsburgh Jerome Lane, Charles Smith, and Brandin Knight. Boston College Michael Adams, Dana Barros, and Bill Curly. Providence Rick Pitino, Billy Donovan, Otis Thorpe, Erick Murdock and Eric Williams. Villanova Ed Pickney, Dwayne McClain, Gary McLain, Harold Pressley, and Stewart Granger. Seton Hall John Morton, Mark Bryant, Terry Dehere, and Adrian Griffin. UConn Cliff Robinson, Ray Allen, Richard Hamilton, and Khalid El-Amin. These are just some of the great college basketball players for yesteryears of the Big East Conference. During the 80s college basketball was more exciting than pro basketball in my opinion, there were epic battles involving Big East teams. Georgetown versus Villanova 1985, Georgetown versus Syracuse 1986, Syracuse versus Michigan 1988, and St. Johns versus Georgetown 1985. The reason I am reminiscing over the Big East is that many of the former teams have left the conference, by leaving the conference the Big East has shuffled schools in and out for the last few years and this, in my opinion, has hurt the standing of the Big East with regards to dominating conferences. The teams that left claim the conferences they were joining were better conferences for football, that is fine, but it was basketball that made these schools popular. The lack of dominance has hurt the Big East teams as far as recruiting is concerned too. Remember Big East schools would attract top high school basketball players, now they are few and far in between. I know people will say Nova has some top talent, Kemba was at Uconn, and Isaiah Whitehead was at Seton Hall. That fact that we can name them is the problem.

My point to all this is Villanova Wildcats has shown the world the Big East can still be a great conference if teams had the guts to live out the legacy. You will never see North Carolina, Duke, or Wake Forest leave the ACC, that is because those teams understand what was built and what it takes to maintain the success of the conference. I long for those great Big East battles, thank you Villanova Wildcats for showing the rest of NCAA that the Big East can still be great.