March 15, 2013
If this is the way that the Big East tournament is going to go out, it sure is fitting: on a Friday night in the Garden, we not only get Part III of the Syracuse-Georgetown farewell tour, but we also get a rematch of the five-overtime thriller between Louisville and Notre Dame from earlier this year.
All of whom are playing for the right to have a shot at being crowned the last-ever Big East tournament champion.*
*(Don't give me that 'the Big East still exists' nonsense. It won't be the same. You know it and I know it. It's like The OC. The first two seasons were amazing, as good as TV gets. The third season was like a farewell tour, where the stars were ready to move on and the cast simply became too bloated. And after they killed off Marisa Cooper, the fourth season was still called The OC, but it just wasn't The OC anymore. It's a perfect metaphor for the Big East, and I'm shocked that I've never realized it before.)
This is what we all wanted, right?
Sure, it might be more fitting if it was UConn and Pitt playing in the second semifinal, but Rick Pitino is Big East royalty from his time at Providence to his success with Louisville in the league, and Mike Brey's Notre Dame program has been one of the classiest in the conference since they came aboard.
It really is perfect, because there simply isn't anything better than the Garden, on a Friday and Saturday night in March, packed to the gills with intoxicated fans — investment bankers and broke freshmen, alike — watching and rooting and enjoying the end of an era.
But they won't be alone.
"I'm definitely going to watch Syracuse-Georgetown," Notre Dame center Jack Cooley said. "I'm going to sit in the stands for that one and watch it. That game is going to be phenomenal. Our game is going to be phenomenal. ESPN is really lucking out having these two games set up like this."
You can find Rob on twitter @RobDauster.
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