Big East Men's Basketball Alive and Kicking

Seton Hall Men's College Basketball

Big East Men's Basketball Alive and Kicking

Don't throw a pity party yet. It may actually be years away. The Big East, at least judging by Thursday afternoon of the Conference Tournament is alive and kicking. As a matter of fact, the noon game, pitting Seton Hall against Villanova, was played before a nearly filled Madison Square Garden. That was in stark contrast to let's say, a UConn Thursday noon game in the foreseeable past, in which The Garden was half empty.

The Villanova fans came in droves to see their nationally ranked team and Seton Hall had a decent turnout. The Pirate faithful left with a good taste in their mouths, as Seton Hall edged Villanova at the buzzer and knocked the Wildcats out of a probable number one seed in the NCAA Tournament. It was one of the most exciting Big East games ever and that says a lot.

The 2:30 game matched hometown St. John's against Providence and many of the attendees from the first game stuck around, along with a throng from St. John's to see Providence win in the last minute.

The big names like Syracuse, Pittsburgh and UConn are gone, but parity is present and so are some darn good local teams. The departures of Villanova and St. John's won't help on Friday night, the best night of the Tournament, but organizers can hope that Creighton, with possible player of the year Doug McDermott can bring in more than the 2000 or so fans who made the trek from Nebraska.

So long as the event is played in The Garden and, by all accounts, it will be for years, look for the Big East Tournament to continue to be one of the premier sporting events in the country.