The Big East, the much ballyhood titan of NCAA basketball, has almost vanished from The Big Dance and why should we be surprised? Big East power rankings and polls are all about ESPN television ratings and the ad dollars the ratings can pull in. Look at it this way; two thirds of the population live east of the Mississippi, at least two thirds of the spending money is there too, and the ever so lazy Lame Stream Sports Media announcers and shills won't stay up past 10PM Eastern anyway so they deliberately screen out even the possibility of watching teams from any section west of the Allegheny Mountains. We're told that University of Washington basketball has to stink worse than anybody in the sacred Big East; Louisville loses to who? Northern Iowa beating anybody? So here's the deal. ESPN with their cadre of babbling "experts" (can anybody stand to listen to Dickie V (Vitale) spew the most insultingly stupid commentary this side of Hell?), needs the vast eastern audiences to watch ESPN and their boring college basketball games. The easiest way to make this gold mine appear is to convince everyone that the Big East basketball is the best of the best. What we all see with our own March eyes is that there are plenty of better basketball teams around but ESPN blacks them out in order to make money on the East Coast. Who's going to watch St. Mary's for Chriss sakes? WTF are they? A bunch of white sissyboys from the Left Coast. Gonzaga? As long as they play their away games on Eastern Time Zone courts we'll allow the entire country to watch. So in spite of dismal NCAA weekly basketball ratings for the almost nightly basketball games, ESPN will continue the barrage of inane Big East hype. Beside Duke (ACC), Maryland (ACC), and Syracuse (Big What?) the rest of the teams come from the rube portion of the country (yeah Kentucky is rube territory as are Ohio State and Wisconsin), Xavier (gimme a fucking break) Cal only qualifies for student violence on the news, and thank God we don't have to watch Arizona any more; anything further west and we'll have to watch Sydney vs Perth. So what we are seeing is validation for lots of our prior opinions about the Big Fucking East. My brackets are like everyone else's except that three of the four top seeds are still in it(I like Washington win it all with a Kentucky-Washington game something to wish for.) And Cornell? Ivy League pansies can't play inner city ball for shit sakes and try getting ratings with them. So the tourney is great but I could give a fuck about most of the teams. Ratings? Maybe not. Andf now a word about St. Mary's, and the only reason I know all this is because I grew up in the shadow of the fucking place in NoCal and everybody around there knows about the good ol' daze of St Mary's football, when they were a national power (???), when they played a major bowl game; all this before title IX (the Lesbian Benefit Act) killed football at the very small schools. St. Mary's beat CAL, USC, and all the other western powers and even won the cotton bowl over Texas Tech. They beat Fordham when they had the Lombardi "Seven Blocks of Granite" line and after the war they began to be frozen out by the Big Boys (you don't beat USC and stay on their schedule) and they joined then National Power USF (maybe the best college football team of the 50s) also had to drop football. St. Mary's was once a household name, maybe they will do it again.