It clearly was going to be a different Big East Tournament final, given that it was the first one without one of the original seven teams. It turned out to be historic in another way, too, as the lowest-scoring championship game the league ever has seen. Still, it managed to uphold Big East tradition by being so hard fought.
Louisville held on to win a defense-first, defense-second, defense-last title game over old neighborhood rival Cincinnati, 50-44, at New York's Madison Square Garden on Saturday night. If this is how the league will look when Syracuse leaves, the Big East can at least look forward to an extended run of bruising competition.