The Big East: Inside the Most Entertaining and Influential Conference in College Basketball History

Ballantine. Nov. 2021. 272p. ISBN 9780593237939. $28. SPORTS
The original Big East Conference dominated men’s college basketball in the 1980s and 1990s, full of larger-than-life coaches and exceptionally talented players. O’Neil (The Athletic) has written a history of the conference’s formation, expansion, realignment, and split, which in 2013 created a new Big East. O’Neil defines each school’s identity in the conference and explores how this most unlikely of geographical bases left obscurity in the ’80s to become the focal point of college basketball for a decade, and the source of numerous championships and future Hall of Famers. The smooth narrative incorporates firsthand accounts from many of the era’s headliners, partnered with O’Neil’s expert research. This is, to date, the most comprehensive and objective history of this era of the Big East: the rivalries, players, coaches, and championships that were, O’Neil says, “almost too preposterous to believe.”
VERDICT This all-inclusive, highly engaging history is as compelling as the Big East Conference itself during those over-the-top years and will delight basketball fans of all ages. Recommended for sports collections in public libraries and for specialty collections.
Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing