You've got to give it to new Big East commissioner Mike Aresco - he tries. Nothing, and I mean, nothing, will keep him from pushing the Big East harder than Vince McMahon pushed some guy named Hulk Hogan in the 1980s. And I don't even have anything against that since, you know, it's his job.
But Aresco's back with a fairly ludicrous statement about the state of Big East basketball - he says it's the best basketball conference going.
We have a great basketball conference. Notre Dame -- we enjoy having the relationship -- but when you have Louisville, Cincinnati, Marquette, and UConn and Georgetown and Villanova and an up and coming St. John's, the possibility of DePaul doing well in Chicago, and adding Memphis and Temple, two strong programs. ... When you have all that, how can anybody argue we aren't top to bottom the best basketball conference in the country? We're right up there.
Now, okay - Aresco kind of backs off of his 'Best in the World' claim at the end by saying they're 'right up there.' But just before that, he claims the Big East is from top to bottom the best conference. That is, of course, radically insane.
The Big East could previously make such a claim, but losing Syracuse, who won a national championship, and three fairly good programs in Pitt, West Virginia, and Notre Dame means that's no more. The ACC has always been a close second to the Big East and the pickups of the Panthers, Orange, and Irish mean they're on top right now. With recent national champions like North Carolina, Duke, and Maryland, along with solid programs such as Georgia Tech, North Carolina State, Florida State, and Virginia, to name a few, there's little doubt in my mind that the ACC is on top right now.