Rick Pitino's 'radical' Big East realignment

July, 14, 2011
7/14/11
4:10
PM ET
LOL.

That's the term Louisville coach Rick Pitino used to cap off one of his rare blog posts, laughing out loud at his own joke about the Big East's schedule-makers. Pitino is still unhappy about having to play Syracuse and Pittsburgh twice and Cincinnati on the road, and he's letting everyone know it's "a little ridiculous" a couple weeks after he first popped off about it.

Pitino's blog post does present a potential solution, one he conceded was "radical." When TCU arrives to the Big East as the 17th team in 2012-13, Pitino would like to see the Big East split up in two divisions. One would include Louisville, Syracuse, Pittsburgh, West Virginia, Cincinnati, TCU, Rutgers, UConn and South Florida. The other division would consist of Villanova, Georgetown, St. John's, DePaul, Marquette, Seton Hall, Providence and Notre Dame.

Like the Major League Baseball setup of old, teams from within the two separate divisions wouldn't meet until the postseason -- in this case the Big East tournament.

"You build rivalries within your division," Pitino wrote. "Each team would play 16 league games. Everything would be fair and level for everyone. The tournament at MSG is where we will have cross competition. After the byes, East 1 will play West bottom and vice versa. We would all play each other twice in our division. Rivalries will be created. And the schedule will be fair for everyone. It's food for thought.

"We need something bold for the best basketball conference in America."

The two-division format might be a non-starter for those who think that Big East teams sticking together is a better show of strength, but the proposal does inject some life into the conversation when the debate thus far has focused on the number of teams to invite to the conference tournament.

Like Pitino wrote, it's just an idea that he's throwing out there. It's nothing that's sacrilegious, and it promotes a discussion of ideas to what he sees as a flawed system.

Radical realignment could be easily dismissed or met with LOLs, but at least Pitino is trying.

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