The Big East's long and courageous fight for survival is almost over. The conference has been taken off life support and is surrounded by friends and family at Providence's Rhode Island Hospital, not far from conference headquarters.
"It's over. It fought the good fight, but it's time to say goodbye," said former Big East commissioner Mike Tranghese, who said his goodbyes to the conference today. "Memories will never die. The Big East will live on wherever there are people who care about college basketball."
The conference has been left for dead repeatedly in recent years as it fought for survival, but its recent loss of Rutgers to the Big Ten followed by the conference's basketball-only schools looking to leave were too much to endure.
"I thought the Big East was gone when Miami, Virginia Tech and Boston College left," said SEC commissioner Mike Slive. "But they fought on, even through the loss of Pitt and Syracuse. It was inspirational. Sad, but inspirational."
The conference has requested that its ashes be scattered over this spring's NCAA Tournament.