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Publisher's Summary

The definitive, compulsively listenable story of the greatest era of the most iconic league in college basketball history - the Big East.

The names need no introduction: Thompson and Patrick, Boeheim and the Pearl, and of course Gavitt. And the moments are part of college basketball lore: the Sweater Game, Villanova Beats Georgetown, and Six Overtimes. But this is the story of the Big East Conference that you haven’t heard before - of how the Northeast, once an afterthought, became the epicenter of college basketball.

Before the league’s founding, East Coast basketball had crowned just three national champions in 40 years, and none since 1954. But in the Big East’s first 10 years, five of its teams played for a national championship. The league didn’t merely inherit good teams; it created them. But how did this unlikely group of schools come to dominate college basketball so quickly and completely?

Including interviews with more than 60 of the key figures in the conference’s history, The Big East charts the league’s daring beginnings and its incredible rise. It transports fans inside packed arenas to epic wars fought between transcendent players, and behind locker-room doors where combustible coaches battled even more fiercely for a leg up.

Started on a handshake and a prayer, the Big East carved an improbable arc in sports history, an ensemble of Catholic schools banding together to not only improve their own stations but rewrite the geographic boundaries of basketball. As former UConn coach Jim Calhoun eloquently put it, “It was Camelot. Camelot with bad language.”

©2021 Dana O'Neil (P)2021 Random House Audio
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

Critic Reviews

“This book captures the inside of a special time in Big East basketball. If you love the game, this book is a must read!” (Jim Calhoun, former University of Connecticut men’s basketball coach)

What listeners say about The Big East

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very complete well researched and entertaining

as someone who grew up with the Big East (Villanova '84) and was there for many of the early moments, this book didn't disappoint. great read and amazing memories.

author did a great job of balance and capturing all the key moments and personalities and the not so great (expansion) and the current hoops only iteration

fun listen for any college hoops fan

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The Big East

This book is a perfect complement to the 3430 documentary that I recently saw about the Big East. Some of the back stories of the personalities brought to life what I consider to be one of the greatest eras in basketball. My routine of watching Walling college big Monday and seeing what I did not know what the time would be future Hall of Famer’s going toe to toe and sometimes fist to fist I will never forget.