UConn should stay in the Big East
There's more to college sports than money. No, seriously
There were a few unavoidable conclusions to be drawn in Houston last April. One: Dan Hurley is one of the sport’s top young (-ish) coaches, a fully credentialed member of college basketball’s new breed. Two: Whatever happened to UConn from Dec. 31 to Jan. 25 (when they went 2-6 and got run by St. John’s in their own building) should be studied in the sports science research centers of the world’s great universities for years to come; outside of that stretch, the Huskies were 29-2 and one of the great, dominant men’s teams of all time. Seriously: What happened?
Three: Having a great traditional center is still a prerequisite of top college teams — and, given the different talent requirements at the NBA level, finding a great college big is probably your best bet for team-building these days anyway.
And four: The Big East is freaking great.
UConn’s title charge was yet more validation of a thing that most college basketball fans collectively felt throughout 2022-23, and in vague and not always explicit ways for years beforehand: The Big East is awesome. From humble, uncertain origins, it has become one of the best, most entertaining conferences in college basketball. The Big East is a nightly delight. UConn’s return to the world’s best basketball-only league — after the Huskies athletic department split into the post-2013 schism American Athletic Conference because of football, whose fans then morosely pined for a return to their cultural home for years — is one of the only objectively good conference realignment moves of the past decade. As Big East officials spoke to media on the floor of NRG Stadium in April, it was impossible to look up at Hurley and the Huskies cutting nets and think UConn belonged anywhere else. The league feels complete. So does UConn.
Naturally, this being college sports, it took a grand total of like two months for everyone to forget all this and start thinking about a way for UConn athletics to destroy its culture and make some more cash — to start another search for new revenue and get itself lost along the way.
To be super clear: This is a really bad idea. UConn shouldn’t do this.
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