Big East Tourney 2009 RetrospectivePosted by nvr1983 on March 18th, 2009
By Ray Floriani
NEW YORK CITY – The Big East Tournament is over. Louisville is crowned champion. Few might argue if you were to call this the greatest Big East postseason get together to date. It was five days of memorable moments. A fitting send off gift to Mike Tranghese the long time commissioner who served with class and excellence.
We should have known this would be an interesting tournament. From the first game on Tuesday when we had winless DePaul knock off Cincinnati in the opener.
During the evening doubleheader seated next to me was UCONN assistant George Blaney scouting the Seton Hall-South Florida. A suggestion was offered that the best part of having all 16 conference teams in New York was for us to finally see the USF dance team, the Sun Dolls. Blaney smiled and agreed.
Wednesday bubbles were burst as the tournament progressed. Thursday gave us the ‘classic’. Just mention that word and passionate basketball followers know what and who you mean. Syracuse-UCONN six overtimes. Leaving the Garden after 2 a.m. a veteran writer remarked, “this is better than Maryland-NC State (in ’74.’) Without a doubt!
Friday left everyone a little tired. Syracuse still had some energy in them as they knocked off West Virginia in overtime. Just one this time.
Saturday left Rick Pitino all smiles. He grew up near the Garden. Was a Knick fan and later coach. Pitino has enjoyed some memorable moments in ‘the world’s most famous arena’. Saturday night was another as his Louisville Cardinals captured the championship. Yes, memorable for Pitino. And for all of us who were fortunate to experience the Big East Tournament.