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SBD/March 12, 2014/Events and Attractions
Ackerman Pleased With Year One As New-Look Big East Tourney Gets Under Way
Published March 12, 2014
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BIG LEAST? In N.Y., Ben Fischer writes MSG "just won't be the same." Fans "simply aren't that interested -- at least compared to the prior years of the event that once stood as the pinnacle of college basketball's conference tournaments." Data from SeatGeek.com showed that "none of the five days are sold out" and prices for the Saturday semifinals are "down 32 percent and the Sunday championship game is down 48 percent." SeatGeek.com Communications Analyst Connor Gregoire said, "There may be room for prices to rise for the semifinal and championship sessions if nearby Villanova or, better yet, St. John's makes a deep run in the tournament, but on the other side of the coin, if Creighton and its Omaha fan base advance to Friday and/or Saturday, prices will likely fall even further" (BIZJOURNALS.com, 3/12). SNY's Sal Licata said, "I couldn't even name you the teams in the Big East" ("Loud Mouths," SNY, 3/11).
JUST GIVE IT A CHANCE: The AP's Jim O'Connell wrote this week's tourney will show "if that 10-team league can drum up the interest of the 'old' Big East." The first tournament "without those highly ranked schools that brought a lot of fervent fans along will be watched by many to see if [it] lives up to the past." St. John's coach Steve Lavin said, "It's important, but I don't see any reason why it won't deliver an outstanding tournament as the conference has for years" (AP, 3/11). In Philadelphia, Bob Ford writes under the header, "Big East Tournament Not What It Used To Be." What the remnants of the Big East "will become is still unknown." What it is "now is better than might have been feared, but also somewhat less than might have been hoped" (PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 3/12). In N.Y., Mike Vaccaro writes fans need to "let the New Big East breathe." Fans need to "stop comparing 2014 to 1985, stop wondering if this new basketball alliance can ever compare with the old one which we still remember fondly" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 3/12).
TRIPLE THREAT POSITION: On Long Island, Neil Best writes finding the Big East tournament broadcasts on FS1 "might be a bit of a challenge." But FS1's "credibility will be helped immensely by the A-list announcing crew it has deployed" in Gus Johnson, Bill Raftery and Erin Andrews. All three are "hugely popular, including in social media and among young fans" (NEWSDAY, 3/11).