Thursday, August 15, 2013
Conference realignment got you down?
By Mike Cranston
Remember when you had all the conferences down pat? The power leagues were a cinch. But you were also pretty good at knowing who was in the WAC and Sun Belt, too. It even won you a beer or three at the neighborhood watering hole. Now? Not so much. But who can blame you? Realignment happened. Then it happened again. And again. All this movement has left you lost on trivia night. You haven’t won a free appetizer since Charlotte was in Conference USA. Well, now Charlotte is back in Conference USA.
It’s high time you got the conferences down again like you know the state capitals. Bad example? OK, like you know the Houston Astros play in the American League. Oh, really? Yeah, that happened this season. Anyway, back to college hoops. As we gear up for the start of the season and ESPN Events’ seven early-season basketball showcases, there’s a lot to learn. So take this quiz about some of the participating teams, and you’ll be the conference go-to person this season.
Q: If UMass plays Temple in the Charleston Classic, will this be a de-facto conference game?
A: Not anymore. UMass is still in the Atlantic 10, but its longtime rival Temple has moved on to the American Athletic Conference, which used to be the Big East, of course.
Q: If Davidson and UMass play in Charleston, will this be a de-facto conference game?
A: No, but it would be next year! Davidson is leaving the Southern Conference after this season for the Atlantic 10.
Q: True or False? Creighton and Marquette will be able to size each other up for conference play when they play together in the Wooden Legacy?
A: True. Creighton has moved from the Missouri Valley to the re-tooled Big East, which includes Marquette. Georgetown, playing in the Puerto Rico Tip-Off, is also in the new Big East. So is Butler, part of the Old Spice Classic field, which spent just one season in the Atlantic 10.
Q: A good showing by College of Charleston in the Wooden Legacy would help what conference’s RPI?
A: Those who gave up on the conference thing a while back might not even know the Cougars moved to the Southern Conference in 1998. But that’s old news. Charleston is a new member of the Colonial Athletic Association, starting this season.
Q: So Charleston will soon be conference rivals with George Mason, which plays in the Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic?
A: No. George Mason has left the CAA for the Atlantic 10.
Q: That’s where Charlotte plays, right?
A: Wrong. The 49ers, who participate in the Puerto Rico Tip-Off, have moved back to Conference USA, which it originally left in 2005. See, that was easy!
Now, keep this blog post handy around the holidays when you’re watching these tournaments. Just think of the money you’re going to win from Uncle Billy. You can thank me around Christmas.