Along with conference alignment, the Big East is solidifying the future of the Big East Tournament, one of the marquee events of the college basketball season.
The New York Post's Lenn Robbins reported Thursday morning that the Big East and Madison Square Garden are "close" to a deal that would keep the current venue the home of the Big East Tournament through 2026.
"We’ve been having conversations with the Garden and I think it’s just a matter of dotting some ‘I’s’ and crossing some ‘T’s,’’ league commissioner John Marinatto said to the NY Post. "Obviously it was been a great partnership. Our coaches and players love playing here. It’s the crown jewel of our league.’’
There has been rumors that, if an agreement couldn't be reached, the Big East may seek moving its conference tournament to Brooklyn, Newark, or even outside of the metropolitan area. This likely ends the ACC's push to take the Garden away from the Big East.
Assuredly, I am not alone in feelings of happiness regarding reports of an extension between the Big East Tournament and Madison Square Garden. That tournament is the Garden and vice versa, and has been ever since St. John's won the first championship held there in 1983.
The longtime Big East schools have strong alumni bases in New York. And though some of the newer basketball additions have fanbases in the South or the Midwest, New York City remains appealing and accessible.