Charles Barkley Calls Big East ‘Most Overrated Conference in the World’ to Rick Pitino’s Face

Charles Barkley Calls Big East 'Most Overrated Conference in the World' to Rick Pitino's Face Analysts generally have free reign to say whatever they want on TV from the safety of a studio, far away from the players and coaches they are criticizing.

Charles Barkley had no such safety on Sunday evening, but that didn't silence him one bit.

With Louisville head coach Rick Pitino sitting mere feet away, Barkley roasted the Big East conference on live TV.

"The Big Least as I call it, or the Small East," Barkley said. "[UConn] finished at the bottom of their conference, then they win five games in five days. I think the Big East is the most overrated conference in the world.

"People were complaining about VCU, Georgia and [other] teams getting in, [but] the Big East should have never gotten 11 teams in."

Pitino took umbrage with that statement, saying that if that were the case, then Cinderella story Marquette would have never gotten in to the tournament.

"Listen," Barkley said. "[Marquette] beat Syracuse. That tells you Syracuse wasn't that good. That's my point … and after Notre Dame loses [Sunday night], it's just going to be another feather in my cap."

Pitino countered.

"Well I'm gonna tell you, Notre Dame will not lose tonight," Pitino said. "I'm on record with that one with you. They will not lose tonight."

Notre Dame ended up losing to 10th-seeded Florida State by 14 points.

"Listen," said Sir Charles. "The Big East is proving my point."

The Big East has just two teams (UConn, Marquette) remaining in the Sweet 16 after 11 teams made the tournament.

Yardbarker

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