Only when Boise State and San Diego State announced their entries as football-only schools this year, turning the Big East into an unwieldy jumble of alliances, did the bedrock of the conference crumble. Traditional members Georgetown, St. John’s, Providence, Seton Hall and Villanova are leaving, joined by DePaul and Marquette, Midwestern Catholic city schools that bounced around as basketball orphans before the Big East, in a nod to its original charter, took them in. Once again, the basketball schools are sailing off together, seeking safe harbor.
What follows is a countdown of the 10 greatest games in Big East history. Yes, you can probably guess which game is No. 1. There are still plenty of thrills and surprises on the journey to that foregone conclusion: Controversial calls, hard fouls, coaching blunders, comebacks, upsets, dunks, buzzer beaters and, because it is the Big East, tons and tons of free throws: