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College Basketball Is Better Now That Rick Pitino Is Back In A Major Conference And The Big East Hates Each Other Again

There it is. Two moves, that weren't exactly secrets, are now official. College basketball is better because of it. Let me start with Pitino, because that's what really moves the needle. Yeah, Pitino had Iona rolling as a mid-major, but let's be honest here. The man is a high major coach. College basketball needs him in a major conference.

And we got it. 

Pitino's still an elite coach. He's still an elite talker. Now he gets the chance to save St. John's as a program. If he can't do it, I'm convinced no one can. They will be a dead program. First order of business needs to be bringing these back. Elite jersey and better shorts. 

Ken White. Getty Images.

I know people will point at Pitino's age. Who cares? He's reportedly signing a 6-year deal. That's more than enough time to turn St. John's around. I'm not saying Pitino is going to win a title or make a Final Four. But St. John's needs to be a consistent Tournament team. I don't care how old Pitino is. He's one of the 5 greatest coaches of all time in the sport. If you can get him, while he can still live at Winged Foot, you do it 100 out of 100 times. 

And while we're talking about dead programs, hello Georgetown. They made history by getting Ed Cooley to be the first coach to go from a Big East team to Big East team. I know he's the king (or was) of Providence. But the Big East starting to hate each other again is awesome. The Big East was made on hate back in the day. You could list basically any combo from the original Big East and it was a rivalry. 

Now Providence and Georgetown is back hating each other. Is it weird? Sure. But they are old school Big East teams and games between them will now be heated. That's what I want in college sports. It's built on rivalry and hate. Doesn't matter the location or even the sport. We live for rivalries. 

It's been one hell of a week for the Big East. You have 3 teams in the Sweet 16. You have two programs landing coaches they needed to. Now it's up to Providence. The short list is here: 

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If you can pull Shrewsberry away from PSU and have a lineup of Big East coaches that include McDermott, Sean Miller, Cooley, Pitino, Hurley, Holloway, Shaka, Matta, Stubblefield and Neptune, that's about as elite as you can ask for. It's also needed. Providence can't miss this hire like it did with a Keno Davis. You can't hit the floor while the league is getting better.

But for now? College basketball is better. We all assumed it would happen with Pitino but now that it's official it seals it. The Big East is back to hating each other and that's what I want. That's the Big East we knew. 

PS: Pitino still got it