PROVIDENCE, RI - Upset with what it perceives to be unfair seedings, illogical geographic placement and impossible expectations, the Big East has announced that it will no longer participate in the NCAA Tournament and will start its own independent post-season tournament starting next year, says Big East Commissioner John Marinatto.
"Since the body of work that our schools created over the course of the regular season should overshadow what happens in the NCAA Tournament, we don't understand the need to even play in that biased scenario anymore" Marinatto said. "The team that wins the NCAA Tournament only does so because of luck and chance."
"Big East teams win because of gumption, moxie, spirit and chutzpah and those are the kind of ideals we want to focus on in our new tournament."
Since there is already a Big East Tournament that follows the completion of the regular-season, the new post-season tournament will be known as The Big Big East Tournament. Aeropostale has already sunk all of its remaining marketing dollars into being the lead sponsor.
The Big Big East Tournament will be open to teams that meet certain criteria. They must be a member of the Big East Conference, they must enjoy playing in Madison Square Garden and they must beat DePaul at least once in a season, unless they are DePaul and in that case they're allowed to play in the tournament due to a "pity pass."
Due to what he perceives as deficiencies in the referee pool that the NCAA Tournament uses, Marinatto said that the Big Big East Tournament will have Jim Burr and Tim Higgins officiate every game.
"You can't provide objective oversight to a college basketball game unless you know how to balance rules, procedure and seven fingers of Glenlivit," said Marinatto. "Timmy and Jimmy are the only ones that can bring that to the table. And hopefully, they don't pass out on that table until the games are concluded."
All games in the Big Big East Tournament will be played in Madison Square Garden. All interviews and press conferences will take place in Madison Square Garden. And everyone playing, coaching or reporting on the Big Big East Tournament must use the words "madison," "square," and "garden" at least five times in every public discussion they have about the tournament.
"We play in Madison Square Garden," Marinatto reminded reporters. "It's in Manhattan. Which is in New York City. So...you know..."
The winner of the Big Big East Tournament will be crowned National Champion by the Big East Media and will receive a billboard in Times Square, a full-page ad in The Carneseca Quarterly (a Big East newsletter) and the right to schedule DePaul five times in the following season.
Big East coaches seem thrilled by the opportunity.
"Anytime you can put yourself in a better situation to win basketball games, you want to do it," said Georgetown coach John Thompson III. "The NCAA Tournament has been impeding Georgetown's ability to win basketball games for years. I really feel like this new tournament will give us a chance to play DePaul and Providence a lot more."
"It's a win-win for me personally," added Louisville coach Rick Pitino. "I can coach my Cardinals in this tournament while working as a TV analyst for the NCAA Tournament and even doing TV analysis for the new tournament as well. And if you know of any other TV opportunities out there, please, call my agent."
When reached for comment, TCU Athletic Director Chris Del Conte remarked, "They're doing WHAT? I thought this was supposed to be a step up for us. Gladys, get Dan Beebe on the phone right now..."