Louisville is the unanimous preseason choice to win the Big East this season. Syracuse is the second pick. The Cardinals and Orange play each other twice this season before Syracuse bolts for the Atlantic Coast Conference and the final Big East meetings between the two programs could become heated affairs after Jim Boeheim and Rick Pitino's "War of Words" Wednesday at Big East Media Day in New York.
Speaking about the impact of Syracuse and Pittsburgh's departure to the ACC next season, Pitino told reporters he doesn't believe the Big East will lose a step next season, asserting that, "Memphis and Temple will more than make up for Syracuse and Pittsburgh."
Told of Pitino's comments, Boeheim fired back at his former assistant.
"Rick is full of sh*t if that's what he really said," the Providence Journal reported. "[If] you think those schools are better than Syracuse for the Big East then you don't know what you're talking about and I think Rick's smarter than that. At least I thought he was."
In the past, Pitino has publicly questioned Syracuse's decision to leave the Big East for the ACC and said Boeheim was 'grandstanding,' about the Orange's move to their new conference this summer. Those comments didn't sit well with the Syracuse coach, who fired back that Louisville, too, would have left the Big East if it had the opportunity to do so.
"If [Pitino] was in the Big 12 like he wanted to be right now, he'd be saying the Big 12 was better. That's the bottom line. If Rick and Louisville could have left, they would have left. Everybody knows it," Boeheim said. "I'm really tired of hearing him say what Syracuse should have done because they would have left in a heartbeat and everybody knows it. If they're going to start talking about Syracuse, then I'm going to talk about them."
Pitino didn't rescind his comments when told about Boeheim's comments.
“I think he’s full of sh*t, and so we’re both full of it,” Pitino told SNY.tv. ”We’re going to miss Syracuse because they bring more than just a team. They bring the fans and Memphis and Temple can’t do that. But anybody who looks at where Memphis has been in the last 10-12 years, anybody who looks at the tradition of Temple and knows Franny Dunphy, would know I’m not full of sh*t.
Louisville and Syracuse play twice this season - January 19 at the KFC Yum Center and Mar. 2 at the Carrier Dome.
Syracuse and Pittsburgh will begin ACC play next season. They will be replaced by Memphis, Temple, Houston, UCF and SMU next season.
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