Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Big East hits Big Easy for last hurray

NEW ORLEANS — The subtitle to the Final Four might as well be the Big East throws one last bash. Three of the four teams — Connecticut, Louisville and Notre Dame — hail from a league that is breaking up after this season.

"I guess the shout-out should go out to all the (university) presidents for having the foresight to tear apart the greatest basketball conference that ever existed," UConn coach Geno Auriemma sarcastically said Wednesday, noting two teams in the men's Final Four (Louisville and Syracuse) also will be departing the Big East. "But I guess it's a great swan song."

Irish coach Muffet McGraw said her team takes pride in being part of a league that has three teams left standing.

"It proves we were the best conference," she said. "I don't think that there was any question when you have two No. 1 seeds coming out of the same conference. But to see Louisville join us in the Final Four … shows what depth and strength we had in the Big East."

The two No. 1 seeds, UConn and Notre Dame, meet in one semifinal. Louisville, a No. 5, and California, a No. 2, meet in the other.

Auriemma said a part of him would like to see a reseeding for Final Fours. At the same time, he recognizes the allure of the "Cinderella" story that will accompany Louisville or Cal in Tuesday's final.

"One of them is going to be playing. And that's something that I'm sure very, very few people predicted," Auriemma said. "So that's just part of the NCAA Tournament's beauty."

At this point, only California of the Pac-12 can spoil the Big East's party. Coach Lindsay Gottlieb said she understands why her team will be overlooked because of the sentimentality.

"It's unfortunate just because growing up on the East Coast I would watch those games and the rivalries," the ex-Syracuse coach said. "But obviously, for this weekend, we're focused on just trying to take care of our business."

Gators fall: Hollie Mershon had 26 points and 10 assists to lead host Drexel past Florida 67-57 in the WNIT semifinals. Freshman Sydney Moss led the Gators (22-15) with 20 points and 10 rebounds. Drexel (27-10) faces Utah on Saturday.

Big East hits Big Easy for last hurray 04/03/13 [Last modified: Thursday, April 4, 2013 4:36pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. New Rowdie Hunter Gorskie nets game's lone goal

    Soccer

    ST. PETERSBURG — Hunter Gorskie enjoyed a smashing Tampa Bay debut, scoring the lone goal and getting in one of many crucial second-half clearances as the Rowdies held off visiting Charlotte 1-0 before an announced 7,786 at Al Lang Stadium.

    The Tampa Bay Rowdies Hunter Gorskie (27) celebrates a first half goal against the Charlotte Independence at Al Lang Field Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017 in St. Petersburg. Photo by Matt May/Tampa Bay Rowdies
  2. Mikhail Sergachev learning when to keep it simple

    Blogs

    Lightning defenseman Mikhail Sergachev tried to carry the puck through the middle in front of his net Friday night against Nashville.

  3. For starters: Rays at Orioles, with a different look to things

    Blogs

    The Rays wrap up their four-game series with the Orioles today and their lineup has a different look, with C Wilson Ramos, OF Steven Souza Jr. and 3B Evan Longoria all getting the day off.

    The Rays are starting their All-Star, RHP Chris Archer, who needs wins in his final two outings to even his record, going …

  4. Sunday Morning Quarterback, Week 5

    Footballpreps

    Team of the Week | Armwood

    Armwood High School defensive end and outside linebacker Fitzroy Gardner during the first half of the Armwood at Jefferson football game in Tampa, Fla., on Friday, September 22, 2017.
  5. Gators rally past Kentucky, streak hits 31

    Blogs

    LEXINGTON, Ky. — For the second week in a row, Florida found itself storming the field in a game that came down to the last second. A 57-yard field-goal attempt by Kentucky kicker Austin MacGinnis came just a few feet short of making history and snapping a 30-year losing streak, as the No. 20 Gators escaped a …

    Florida wide receiver Brandon Powell (4) scores a touchdown during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Kentucky, Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017, in Lexington, Ky.