Charles LeClaire | USA TODAY Sports

That whole UConn-to-the-Big 12 thing is dead.

Thank God.

From ESPN:

The Big 12 will not add Gonzaga and UConn, two basketball powerhouses, after initial conversations about the potential moves, commissioner Brett Yormark said Wednesday.

Yormark joined John Ourand and Andrew Marchand on the “Marchand and Ourand Sports Media Podcast” to discuss the conference’s evolution after the Big 12 recently added former Pac-12 schools Arizona, Arizona State, Utah and Colorado. Last year, the Big 12 announced the additions of Houston, Cincinnati, UCF and BYU.


“I did have conversations with UConn and Gonzaga, and unfortunately, things didn’t work out, only because the dream scenario unfolded for us, so those conversations are no longer,” Yormark said on the podcast. “I’m a big admirer of both of those programs. They’re fantastic for all the right reasons, but I’m focused on the transition of those four [new schools] right now.”

UConn joining the Big 12 after finally getting back in the Big East would have been the single-dumbest moment in the wildly stupid history of conference realignment. Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont would have been justified to try to veto it had Yormark invited the Huskies.

Yes, the football team would have had a conference and there would have been a bit more television money flowing in. But football would have gotten its clock cleaned in the Big 12. The softball team would have had to go to Utah. And the hoops team would have traded the Garden for Jerry World. Who the hell wants to see UConn-Iowa State on a cold January night?

Also: The whole “best basketball league in the country” thing was a dumb storyline. Arizona and Kansas are legit bluebloods like UConn. But everything else is fluid. Are Baylor and Houston always going to be elite? Not necessarily. Kansas State ebbs and flows. Same with Cincinnati. The Big East is where UConn belongs.

James Kratch can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @jameskratch.

James Kratch is the managing editor of ESNY. He previously worked as a Rutgers and Giants (and Mike Francesa) beat reporter for NJ Advance Media.