Big East should have staying power in basketball

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Cheers and Jeers,Sports,College,Jeffrey Tomik

The Big East certainly isn't what it used to be.

With the loss of Syracuse, Pittsburgh, West Virginia and now Notre Dame, the conference is adding schools all over the country to try to stay afloat.

But despite its struggles, the new-look Big East still will be a formidable basketball conference.

With programs like Memphis and Temple joining perennial powers Connecticut, Georgetown, Villanova, Cincinnati, Louisville and Marquette, the Big East will remain one of the deepest conferences in the country.

Eight teams that will play in the Big East in 2013 made the 2012 NCAA tournament. That's more bids than any other conference last season.

Football is the driving force for realignment, but it has directly affected the basketball landscape.

The flagship programs of the Big East may be gone, but the conference will remain a basketball power ... as long as it can keep the rest of its members intact.

- Jeffrey Tomik

jtomik@washingtonexaminer.com

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