The disparaging “you’ve changed, bro” label frequently applied to the Big East no longer holds water. The majority of media sources, however, continue to disrespect the quality of the Big East basketball programs. The common qualifying statement, which can more appropriately be described as a back-handed compliment, is that the Big East is good but not as good as it used to be.

Biased media

Comparing the physical, gritty attitude of the old Big East to the current conference actively ignores the fact that the sport itself has changed. Nostalgia for old-school, hard-nosed basketball always manifests itself as a requiem for the Big East, at the expense of the current conference.

This never-ending nut-shot happily distributed by mainstream media outlets, ESPN in particular, is their shameless way of protecting their most profitable college investment, the Power Five conferences (ACC, Big-10, Big-12, Pac-12, & SEC). The NCAA is unprepared for a conference solely grounded in basketball to take the world by storm. Remember, the NCAA is a business that needs to keep their key benefactor, ESPN, happy. This deliberate downplaying of Big East potency is woven into the NCAA basketball narrative. The NCAA columnist that described the old Big East in such a nostalgic manner exemplified this biased attitude later in the same article,

“The Big East is notably absent from the list of Power Five Conferences as we know them.”

This writer should have understood that the “Power Five” conferences refers to conferences for the sport of football.

Clearly, the powers that be allow football preeminence (you may have heard, football makes money) to bleed into the perceptions of basketball programs. This false narrative led all those watching Villanova topple UNC in last year’s tournament feel the same shock as watching Trump defeat Clinton. The same manner in which left-leaning media systematically assured a Clinton victory mirrors the anti-Big East rhetoric spewed by sports media leading up to the final.

ESPN sold the Big East television rights to Fox Sports 1, making Big East success bad for business in Bristol.

New sheriff in town

The new Big East already sports a national champion (Villanova) along with four teams that have been ranked in the top 16 throughout this season (Villanova, Creighton, Xavier, & Butler).

I am firmly bullish that this basketball-centric conference will rewrite the tournament script. College basketball media sources, like politically-focused media outlets, need to dismantle the echo chamber and shake the systematic prejudice, the new Big East is here.

Hopefully, President Trump can one day find the enthusiasm for Big East basketball that he does not currently have.

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