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More of the same lame: Tulane is going to be joining the Big East

By Matt Norlander | College Basketball Writer

It's reached a point of blind groping in the dark. Conference realignment is going through the motions because -- why not -- let's just keep doing this in order to keep the blood pumping. One after the other, keep it single file, everybody gets a turn.

Tulane, that of New Orleans, is your latest league interloper. The Times-Picayune first reported the news, and now CBSSports.com's Jeremy Fowler, in addition to numerous other outlets, is reporting the Big East will inherit Tulane in all sports, beginning for the 2013-14 academic year.

Tulane has called for a 2 p.m. ET Tuesday press conference to address the decision to leave Conference USA for the Big East. The news means the Big East will have eight former C-USA residents by this time next year. (The others: Marquette, DePaul, Louisville, Cincinnati, Houston, Central Florida, SMU, Memphis.)

The move is -- just another one? Predictable in its out-of-the-blue-but-not-really nature? What do you want me to say? Shocking? OMG! It's just another hollow piece shifted from one league to the next, Tulane being a particularly underwhelming import for a Big East that's downgrading instead of downsizing, as it should.

The moves are happening swiftly and without regard to common sense in the name of trying to land a huge television deal. The Big East is in talks with many networks and is trying to dump out all its change and valuables onto the table. Tulane now represents the combined value of a bent Patrick Ewing rookie card and an iPhone 2.

And if you're going to tell me Tulane football was a motivating factor in this, I'm going to need a few minutes to laugh out all the tears.

The Green Wave's inclusion only waters down the Big East hoops product, essentially creating a more-clustered basement of basketball programs that will add virtually nothing for the league that earned its bread on basketball for three decades. Fowler's report also notes the Big East is chasing after a school way out of its region (like that matters anymore, or even did two years ago) but more importantly, out of its television market. BYU, pick up, won't you? Nothing sounds as sweet as desperation over the telephone line.

Tulane has been a part of Conference USA since the league's inception in 1995 and over the past seven years has averaged 13.7 wins per season in men's basketball. The school has made three NCAA tournaments, all in the '90s and none since 1995. In other terms, this is what the Big East has become -- taping flyers to light posts and leaving easy-to-tear phone numbers tasseled at the bottom.

The Big East has now, today, completely bastardized itself in the chase to not lose out on a big payday for its next, most crucial, TV deal. Is this good for Tulane? I don't know. Who cares? It's Tulane. That's the point. It's Tulane. Reaching this end is exposition enough on what the Big East has crumbled itself into, a mutated version of what Conference USA never managed to be.

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