The Big East Conference is a collection of nine schools, mostly established basketball powers like Georgetown, Syracuse and Providence, which in 1979 melded into one of college basketball's elite conferences. The constantly shifting patterns of the 1988-89 season are chronicled here, as are myriad individual and team rivalries, behind-the-scenes maneuvering and the conferences' roots. Reynolds ( Born to Coach ) also captures the essence and duality of college basketball, a sport which gained popularity in the wooden gyms of the '60s and '70s but is now a glitzy and glamorous endeavor played on national television in domed stadiums. The narrative is absorbing and Reynolds's love for the sport is evident. This look at the league born of the mind of Big East Conference commissioner David Gavitt is a book college basketball fans will want. Photos not seen by PW. (Dec).