If you have never paid attention to the Big East tournament, you might want to start now. This year's version, which tipped off Tuesday night, will be the last as we know it. Few groups—this side of Game of Thrones, at least—have more divided loyalties and complicated rivalries.

Thanks to the allure of football money, Big East mainstays like Syracuse, Rutgers and Pittsburgh will bolt, fracturing the league. (Schools like Boston College and Miami are long gone.) Seven basketball-only programs—the so-called Catholic 7—will form their own league, which will be called the Big Priest keep the Big East name, for a price.

Left in the old bastardized conference is Connecticut, the only remaining charter member form the Big East's inception in 1979. UConn will play next season in a league with Memphis, Southern Methodist and a host of other uninspiring teams. Call the Huskies Jon Snow if you think that fits, but given the viability of the new league, they may end up feeling more like Ned Stark.

To add insult to injury, UConn was banned from the postseason because of academic problems. Winter is here, and UConn's season is over.

As for the games this week, expect some close ones chock-full of heated emotions. This isn't the ACC tournament, at which coaches admit they don't care about the results. Big East rivalries run deep, and this will be the last time these schools all gather in one city.

Georgetown (one of the Catholic 7) owns the top seed—they're the Lannisters of the tournament. Louisville (headed to the ACC) lines up to meet them in the final—they're House Targaryen. But as everyone obsessed with dragons knows, upsets do happen. Syracuse's late-season slump—keyed by two losses to Georgetown—dropped the Orange to the 5 seed, an insult they should handle as well as the Ironborn. Should the schools meet again in a semifinal Friday, expect most Big East fans, even those of Georgetown rivals like Villanova, Marquette and Providence, to root against Syracuse. After all, Jim "Theon Greyjoy" Boeheim's school's defection is widely seen as the beginning of the end for the Big East. Strange times make for strange bedfellows.

Fans of Catholic 7 schools want their team to win, and, failing that, another one of their own to be the last team standing. After that though, most would probably go with the ABS plan—Anyone But Syracuse.