On consecutive Saturdays, two compelling intra-conference rivalries faced the beginnings of their ends — Maryland-Duke on Feb. 16, Georgetown-Syracuse on Feb. 23. The ACC and Big East begin turning into something unrecognizable next season. A year after that, the heart of the Big East plans to clear out and form another conference.
But this, actually, is not about the end of classic rivalries. It's past time to weep for them. Those two storied conferences would prefer that you forget about them and engage in new ones anyway, especially in basketball, which will help you forget that the sport that made them legendary was an afterthought to the money machine that is football.
So, if new rivalries are what college sports — specifically, basketball — wants, then new rivalries are what it should get. The very first one should be one that disintegrated more than 20 years ago. It would also be the perfect antidote for runaway conference realignment:
An ACC-Catholic 7 Challenge.