Pitino Says Big East Isn't 'Missing a Beat' Despite Departures | Zagsblog
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Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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Tuesday / April 23.
  • Pitino Says Big East Isn’t ‘Missing a Beat’ Despite Departures

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    NEW YORK — As a native New Yorker and longtime Big East guy, Rick Pitino was sad to see Louisville leave the league.

    But despite the departures of Louisville, Syracuse, Pittsburgh and Notre Dame to the ACC, the Big East is doing just fine right now.

    The league has three Top 25 teams in No. 7 Villanova, No. 15 Butler and No. 24 St. John’s. Seton Hall had been unbeaten before Tuesday  night’s loss at Wichita State.

    Four of the top 30 teams in the KenPom rankings are Big East schools as well — No. 6 Villanova, No. 20 Georgetown, No. 26 St. John’s and No. 28 Butler.

    Going into Wednesday’s play, Big East teams are a collective 65-16 (.802) against outside competition.

    “I think the Big East is not going to miss a beat,” Pitino said Tuesday night at the Jimmy V Classic after Louisville crushed Indiana, 94-74. “I thought they would, to be honest with you, but I still think they got a great league and as long as they recruit tough kids…

    “Creighton was a big addition for them. We don’t know it here in the Northeast but that gentleman [Greg McDermott] is one of the best coaches in our game. Xavier’s terrific. So they’ve got a lot of good additions and they’ll probably expand even more down the road.”

    Pitino was asked his thoughts on the Big Ten moving their postseason tournament to Madison Square Garden in 2018, following the ACC’s move to the Barclays Center in 2017 and ’18.

    “[Big Ten Commissioner] Jim Delany’s a very smart commissioner and he wanted Rutgers for the Northeast and he also wanted to get into the Garden so the Big Ten’s a highly organized league,” Pitino said. “So I think it’s great for the Big Ten, they’re very smart

    “The ACC’s a highly organized league. We’re going to the Barclays Center, we’re going to the Verizon Center…so it’s great.”

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    Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle. 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.

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