Two years later, Big East still looks like a major conference

When conferences realigned, many wondered whether the Big East would survive. Two years later, it appears the league's teams are competing at a high level. AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin

Two years ago when the Big East was forced to reconstitute itself as a league that doesn't play FBS-level football, no one really knew what would happen to the conference in terms of basketball. After all, the teams that left the Big East comprised a regular who's-who of college hoops: Connecticut, Louisville, Syracuse, Notre Dame, Pittsburgh, West Virginia and Cincinnati all departed in search of greener pastures. (While the league was hemorrhaging teams, two somewhat less storied basketball programs also chose to head out the door: Rutgers and South Florida.) Within the span of just three seasons, the one-time 16-team "super conference" lost over half its members.