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Proposing a Big East Preseason Tournament

Wouldn’t this be fun.

Connecticut v Louisville Photo by Mike Lawrie/Getty Images

College basketball season usually commences with unappealing, one-sided contests. Generally the first real opportunity for teams to boost their tournament resume comes in preseason tip-off tournaments.

This season St. John’s will participate in one of the premier early season events, Battle 4 Atlantis. Some other tip-off events include the Maui Invitational, Champions Classic, and New York City’s 2k Classic.

Not long ago the old Big East split, schools moving in separate directions on a quest for a few extra dollars. Rivalries were destroyed, the very essence of intercollegiate athletics tarnished. Former Big East schools have not forgotten their past, many scheduling series against old conference foes. Some examples that come to mind include Syracuse-Georgetown, St. John’s-Syracuse, and Connecticut-Georgetown.

Old Big East basketball was some of the most exciting action around the country. Big East basketball was heated, rivalries were personal. Here at Rumble in the Garden, we are advocating for a Big East tip-off tournament; mainly because we miss old school east coast hoops.

It should be noted, BC Interruption originally proposed the idea. Our version has been slightly modified, and is a bit more extensive. By that we mean this proposed tournament complies within NCAA legislation. As a result of that, no more than one team from the same conference can play in the same preseason tournament. Much like the loaded Phil Knight Invitational, this event would have two separate “pods”, allowing for the Big East, ACC, and Big Ten to send more than one program.

Participating Teams

Tournament 1

  • Connecticut Huskies
  • Syracuse Orange
  • St. John’s Red Storm
  • Rutgers Scarlet Knights

Tournament 2

  • Massachusetts Minutemen
  • Penn State Nittany Lions
  • Boston College Eagles
  • Georgetown Hoyas

Tournament Details

Venue: Madison Square Garden

Date: First weekend in December (Friday-Sunday)


Hypothetical Bracket

Quarterfinals- Friday

*Tournament 1 Semifinals

  • Connecticut vs. St. John’s ( Game 1 )
  • Syracuse vs. Rutgers ( Game 2 )

*Tournament 2 Semifinals

  • UMass vs. Boston College ( Game 3 )
  • Georgetown vs. Penn State ( Game 4 )

Semifinals- Saturday

*Tournament 1 Championship

  • Game 1 winner vs. Game 2 winner ( Game 5 )

*Tournament 2 Championship

  • Game 3 winner vs. Game 4 winner ( Game 6 )

Big East Championship- Sunday

  • Tournament 1 winner vs. Tournament 2 winner

Basketball fans’ itch for old Big East basketball may not be solved by the creation of a preseason tournament, but either way it is an interesting and intriguing thought.