KIRKPATRICK: The Big East has simply taken Big Ten style to the nth degree.
KELLY: But see, the Big Ten plays physical and fair, and turns out solid pros and good citizens. The Big East has gone way overboard. This leads to other things. Like the Boston College player who stayed eligible by going to night school a few years ago.
WOLFF: Good citizens? Ask Luke Witte about the good citizens in the Big Ten.
KIRKPATRICK: Yes, the basketball brawl of all time, right there in the corn-fed, heartland, good-citizen Big Ten. Ohio State at Minnesota, 1972.
KELLY: At least the league policed that stuff. Not like the Big East.
KIRKPATRICK: Oh. And Robert Knight? He's a terrific citizen. A world international good citizen. Just don't get in the way of the flying chairs.
WOLFF: There is a middle ground. When the ACC realized its success only lasted until NCAA tournament time...that's when it revised its finesse approach. It was very Big Ten conscious. But this premise that the Big Ten style is the way to go is silly. The league seems mostly to be the NBA, undergraduate division. College ball should have its own identity. Watching the Big Ten is like listening to Dick Vitale read Shakespearean sonnets. Painful.
KELLY: It's Middle America—strong, solid, conservative, blue-collar. Look at the Illinois team two years ago. Possessed of hard work, initiative, inner drive.
KIRKPATRICK: What is this, Farm Aid? You've got to put the ball in the basket. Last year the Illini couldn't hit the broadsides of those barns around Champaign.
WOLFF: What is the singular of Illini?