As you may or may not know, I have been picked to compete against bloggers from all 16 schools of the BIG EAST in a season long contest to win a Volvo S60. Part of it is the fan poll (if you haven’t already, please cast a vote for yours truly!), while the other piece consists of challenge posts throughout the entire season. Here is the next challenge.
In honor of 30 years of BIG EAST basketball at Madison Square Garden, the conference created the campaign “#Garden30” to determine: 10 Moments, 10 Players, 10 Teams – The best that the great tournament has ever had to offer. Here is my take.
10 Best Big East Basketball Moments of all time (BET)
1. 1994 – Providence Wins First and Only BIG EAST Tournament Championship – I’d like to think that 14 year old Friarblog, even though he was probably really into the Knicks at the time, unknowingly felt tremendous pride for this Friar squad. Michael Smith had a cool 16 and 16, and the Friars squeaked by the Hoyas.
2. Walter Berry blocks Pearl Washington at the buzzer in 1986 Final – I’ve written about this moment several times before, and it truly holds a special place in my heart. It’s my earliest sports memory ever, and I always think of my dad whenever it comes up. If only the flood didn’t ruin my mom’s basement where the VHS tape lay…
3. 2009 – Six Overtimes – I’m really glad that I worked from home at the time, so I could easily stay up to watch this one. I was either incredibly delirious, or just really annoyed with Syracuse that I actually wanted UConn to win. Wait, what?
4. Kemba Walker leads Huskies to 5 wins in 5 days in 2011 – A lot of times the most recent moments always seem to stand out more, but Kemba’s BET last season was just plain incredible. The step backs, the clutch shooting. FIVE DAYS! There are five days in the BIG EAST Tournament? I’ve only been as far as the 2nd day in my 13 years following PC basketball.
5. Ray Allen’s game-winning jumper in 1996 – Ugh, more UConn. I hate UConn. Boy do I hate UConn. However, even I can recognize the
travel wackiness that is a game winning shot while frantically moving your legs in midair.
6. Chris Mullin leads STJ to win in first-ever tournament at MSG in 1983 – Bonus points for beating those traitors Boston College.
7. Gerry McNamara’s Heroics in 2006 – Pretty Kemba-like run there. Howver, he only carried the team on his back for FOUR games instead of five. And the old folks always say things were much harder during their time. OK grandpa.
8. Patrick Ewing dominates as GU wins back-to-back titles in 1984 & 1985 – I’m glad he won something before joining the Knicks.
9. 2002 – Providence loses to Georgetown in First Round – Wait, what? How could a lame Providence loss in the first round be considered a top moment of all time? It’s basically a microcosm of what I have endured in the BIG EAST Tournament as a Friar fan. With PC trailing by 1 point, my favorite Friar ever John Linehan drove the lane looking for a winning score. He was MUGGED in the paint, but this being the BIG EAST no foul was called, game over. Linehan stayed lying on the floor, after playing his final moment in a Friar uniform.
10. 2010 – Providence mauled by Marquette in First Round – The last time we ever had to deal with Keno ball! As the buzzer sounded, everyone knew it too. It was real, and it was phenomenal.
I was at the St. John’s / Rutgers game last season, where one of the weirdest endings I’ve ever seen took place.
Wait, so you step out of bounds AND threw the ball out into the stands with time on the clock?
10 Best Big East Basketball Teams of all time (BET)
Here is a list of the top teams who have won the whole BET.
1993 Seton Hall
1983 St. John’s
2010 West Virginia
10 Best Big East Basketball Players of all time (BET)
1. Patrick Ewing
2. Kemba Walker
3. Chris Mullin
4. Gerry McNamara
5. Alonzo Mourning
6. Walter Berry
7. Dwayne Washington
8. Ben Gordon
9. Sherman Douglas
10. Michael Smith