The conference formerly known as the Big East already has a new name. It has been tabbed the American Athletic Conference.
This weekend the Big East as we know it, from a basketball perspective, will end on the biggest stage. Louisville and Syracuse will vie for the men’s basketball championship at the Final Four in Atlanta. UConn, Notre Dame and Louisville will vie for the women’s basketball championship at the Final Four in New Orleans.
UConn coach Geno Auriemma provided some pointed remarks on the end of the original Big East Conference …
“We have three Big East teams in the Final Four, and we have two on the men’s side,’’ Auriemma said. “So we’ve got five of the eight Big East teams, five of the eight national championship contenders are Big East schools. So I guess the shout-out should go out to all the presidents for having the foresight to tear apart the greatest basketball conference that’s ever existed. But as basketball coaches, I’m sure Rick (Pitino of Louisville) and Jim Boeheim (of Syracuse) and Muffet (McGraw of Notre Dame) and Jeff (Walz of Louisville) and I feel we wouldn’t want to be anywhere else. And we wish it didn’t happen but we have no control over it. But I guess it’s a great swan song. If it’s going to end, this is a great way for it to end.’’