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Monday / February 20.

Mick Cronin Says It’s Good Syracuse, Others Leaving Big East

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PISCATAWAY, N.J. — Cincinnati coach Mick Cronin has a unique take on the Big East exits of Syracuse, Pittsburgh, West Virginia and Notre Dame.

While virtually everyone else laments their losses, Cronin thinks otherwise.

“People say, ‘Well, the Big East isn’t the same Big East.’ That’s good for Cincinnati,” Cronin told Friday at the Brayden Carr Foundation clinic at Rutgers.

Cincinnati finished fourth in the league last year and lost to Louisville in the Big East Tournament final at Madison Square Garden. They are ranked No. 12 in our Sheridan Hoops Preseason Top 25 for this season.

But Cronin believes his team will never get the respect it’s due as long as the Big East bluebloods remain.

“Even though you win and you finish ahead of Georgetown last year, you beat them twice, and in the final national poll they’re ranked ahead of you,” Cronin said. “And then they get beat in the first round.

“But name-brand connotation, Big East basketball, what’s the first thing that comes to your mind? ‘Big Monday,’ Georgetown vs. Syracuse. It’s nobody’s fault, it just is what it is.

“So the changing of the Big East, it just gives us a chance to plant our flag deeper. And for any team, for the rest of us, that when you do win there’s room in the print for the story because there’s just so many other good teams.

“And people want to read about the other Big East teams. They don’t even think about you.”

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Adam Zagoria is a New York Times contributor and Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.