We've already compared the break-up of the Big 12 to the break-up of the "Zack Attack" from "Saved by the Bell" and cast "Friday Night Lights" with real college football characters.

But when Rick Pitino compared Pitt chancellor Mark Nordenberg to a "Godfather" character for betraying the Big East, we couldn't help ourselves from casting the movie's main characters with those in college basketball.

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As it turns out, the similarities between the "Five Families" that control organized crime in New York City and the Big East battling the four potential "super conferences" -- the ACC, SEC, Big 10 and Pac-12 -- to stave off elimination are quite similar.

We examine:

Vito Corleone is ...
Mike Tranghese

Vito Corleone is "The Godfather," a mob boss who has seen his empire come under attack as the rival Five Families of New York seek to destroy his family. We know Dave Gavitt was the founder of the Big East but have some respect for the man's recent passing. Tranghese works in the role of Vito because he's a Godfather-type who served as longtime commissioner of the Big East. He's now seeing the league he spent so much time building into the nation's most powerful basketball conference stare demise straight in the face as talk of four "super conferences" (Big Ten, ACC, SEC, Pac-16) runs rampant. Tranghese is furious but appears powerless to stop it all.

Michael Corleone is ...
John Marinatto

Michael is Vito's youngest son who wasn't supposed to be involved in the family business, so to speak. But he abandons a career in politics to become the head of the family and proves to be a ruthless leader. Marinatto is the new boss of the Big East who took over for Tranghese in 2009 -- much like Michael became head of the family. Both underwent assassination attempts of sorts -- Michael in the literal sense, and Marinatto from the ACC, which has begun to siphon teams away from his league under commissioner John Swofford. But just like Michael, don't expected Marinatto to take it laying down, as he's already taking public jabs at Swofford. Marinatto says the remaining schools have agreed to a pact to stay in the Big East but ESPN is reporting that Connecticut still has eyes for the ACC. And can anyone really be trusted at this point?

Fredo Corleone is ...
Rick Pitino

Fredo Corleone is Vito's middle son who is insecure about his standing in the family and is undone by his constant womanizing. His older brother, Sonny, provides the bluster, while young Michael is the confident heir to their father's throne. Where does Fredo stand? He doesn’t know, either. Pitino is asking the same question in the new frontier of college athletics, especially with his standing in the Big East. He's waiting on Marinatto to save the Big East family. Pitino is watching Jim Boeheim's group head to the ACC and Jim Calhoun’s Connecticut team possibly follow while Louisville basketball becomes an afterthought. As for Pitino's weakness with women? Well, you already know all about that..

For a complete rundown of the cast, check out LostLettermen.com.

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