An Atlantic Coast Conference Homer Praises The Big East

Travis MillerAnalyst IJanuary 10, 2009

Don't expect this to happen much.

At halftime of the Duke game with the score 19-14 (yes, it was basketball), I knew I didn't have a Duke article in me today.

The only things on my mind during and after No. 2 Duke's 66-58 win over Florida State, involved "What the hell did Coach K say to his team at halftime?"

He probably showed them the highlight reel of Seminole fans rushing the court when they beat Duke at home year after year. That would light a fire under my blue tail.

Try to understand why, four paragraphs deep, I still haven't delved into the headline's topic yet. This is difficult for me. Hating UConn is in my blood. Disrespecting Louisville's weak early-season schedule just comes natural. Luke Harangody as good as Tyler Hansbrough? Ha!

With the hate out of my system, I'm about to praise the Big East. And this isn't a joke. There's no twist at the end which will make Big East fans tie me down and force-feed me highlights from the 1999 National Championship game.

As Alan Jackson is the "singer of simple songs," this is me being the "writer of simple words." I'm not throwing around tons of stats or deeply analyzing anything here. I'm just delivering a short message:

The Big East is awesome this year, and it's a competitive conference every year.

Avoiding facts perpetually beaten into our heads (you know, nine ranked teams or whatever it is), I really enjoy watching Big East games.

As a sportswriter, I don't like switching from game to game (first and second round games in the Big Dance not included). I pick a game to watch and I stick with it. I like to see what teams are made of, try to figure out their tendencies, etc...

That being said, I would have loved to watch the Louisville/Villanova game over any other if Duke wasn't on at the same time. I'd have even watched it over other ACC games. Not just because of the close score.

The rationale here is because watching a team like Georgia Tech or Maryland, for example, is a waste of my time. I know the teams I'm watching on the court will not be the teams I see when Duke comes to town.

Plus, the Big East kids can put on a show.

Every conference has bitter rivalries and exciting games, but some of the Big East games this past week and a half have been as good as it gets.

The slow-paced battles in the Big Ten just don't do it for me. Bo Ryan makes me yawn.

Mid-majors are down this year. There's occasionally a decent SEC, Pac-10, or Big 12 game on. I guess.

Georgetown beats UConn.

Pitt beats Georgetown.

St. John's beats Notre Dame.

Notre Dame beats Georgetown.

Louisville beats Villanova (I really needed 'Nova to make those free throws to stay respectable in the pick'em!).

Seton Hall, had they played 40 minutes today, would have knocked off Notre Dame.

The list keeps going. I can name only a small handful of exciting games in the ACC this SEASON, let alone this week.

Granted, the big ACC rivalries are set for later in the year, and with the 16-team mega-conference, the Big East is going to have big matchups every week, but for a fan of college basketball, isn't this a beautiful thing?

See, I told you there wasn't a twist and I was sincere.

Take it while it's here, Big East. I must be in a rare mood today.

I'll be trashing you in March.