Syracuse and Pitt are headed to the ACC and only time will tell if the Big East will survive without two of its big name teams. The ACC is getting stronger and might get ready to move its conference basketball tournament from Tobacco Road to Two Penn Plaza in Manhattan. The Big East has a contract with Madison Square Garden through 2016.
John Swofford never dismissed the thought or possibility of this happening in the future. There are pros and cons to a possible deal.
First of all, there probably could not be a much better setting for a basketball tournament than New York City. The Big East Tournament has called Madison Square Garden home since 1983. There is always a great turnout for games, but now imagine how much bigger the crowd gets when you add teams like the University of North Carolina and Duke to the line-up.
If Rutgers and UConn jump the ship and also go to the ACC, that could be the final nail in the coffin for the Big East. It just makes the line-up for possible ACC tournament games at Madison Square Garden so much better. There could possibly be two rivalries under the roof with Duke vs UNC or Syracuse vs UConn. Two for the price of one!
This would also be a great recruiting tool for teams like North Carolina and Duke. Pitt has been using it the last few years and they could continue with it rather than losing it in the move.
The downside for the move from North Carolina to New York is just that. The majority of these schools have their tradition rooted in North Carolina and many fans would get left out if they had to travel to watch the ACC Tournament. There have been some years where it has been played in Georgia, Florida, and Washington D.C. The travel to New York might be over the top for fans.
Duke and UNC are the two top teams in that conference for basketball, so the ball could be in their court. (No pun intended)
But then again, everything could become a business and the ACC would haul in a lot more money in New York. It becomes tradition vs. treasure. They have the money to move to New York, but at this point they have to wait for the Big East to die. Once that happens, New York is easily at their hands.