In the end, the conference built on sand came tumbling down in an unexpected way: at the hands of one of its founding members. This morning, we learned that the presidents of the Atlantic Coast Conference unanimously approved the addition of Syracuse and Pittsburgh as the 13th and 14th members of the ACC, as the Orange and Panthers pursued the all-too-familiar path of "screw tradition and rivalries, we gotta get PAID" that's overtaken college athletics.
If this story sounds like deja vu all over again, that's because the ACC has raided the Big East's pantry before: a little more that five years ago, the ACC ripped Miami and Virginia Tech and Boston College away from the Big East, decimating the conference's football pedigree. The Big East rebounded after that raid, of course, adding South Florida, Cincinnati, Louisville, DePaul and, most importantly, Marquette, becoming the 16-team college basketball behemoth we've come to know and love.
But it doesn't seem that there's going to be a "The Big East is dead, long live the Big East" resurrection this time: with 'Cuse and Pitt gone and rumors swirling that UConn and Rutgers will shortly follow, and with the conference's leadership preposterously unaware that there were teams actively contemplating a move elsewhere, things look terribly bleak for the BEast right now.
We'll have more on how this impacts Marquette as the week goes on. (As a tease: for myself, and only myself: I think we're going to be OK. It's going to be rough for a little bit, but we'll find our way.) For now, we turn to Bone Thugs to say goodbye: