Louisville awaits Providence/Seton Hall

The 2012 Big East Championship begins Tuesday in New York's Madison Square Garden. No. 7 seed Louisville received a first round by and will play either Providence or Seton Hall on Wednesday night.

 Providence, R.I. – On the heels of a historic regular season in which it won 30 of 31 games, including a 17-1 mark in conference play, Syracuse has earned the 2012 BIG EAST regular-season title and the No. 1 seed in the 2012 BIG EAST Championship presented by American Eagle Outfitters.

The Orange had clinched the top seed a week ago, but put the finishing touches on the most impressive regular season in BIG EAST history Saturday with a win against Louisville. Syracuse, tied the BIG EAST record with its 10th regular-season title, set a league record for conference wins and became the first team in BIG EAST history to finish the regular season with just one overall loss. Syracuse enters the tournament in search of its sixth BIG EAST Championship title.

The 2012 Championship will mark the 30th anniversary of the BIG EAST at Madison Square Garden, marking the longest-running conference tournament at one venue in the country. Fans can track the latest news from this year's tournament through the BIG EAST's Twitter feed, using the hashtag #garden30.

Syracuse joins Marquette, Notre Dame and Cincinnati as the top four seeds in The BIG EAST Championship, which begins Tuesday, March 6 at noon Eastern at Madison Square Garden in New York. Those four schools receive byes through two rounds of the tournament and won't play until Thursday's quarterfinals.

The Championship begins Tuesday with four first-round matchups. Connecticut and DePaul kick things off with a battle between the Nos. 9 and 16 seeds at noon, while No. 12 St. John's takes on No. 13 Pittsburgh at 2 p.m. to complete the afternoon session. Those games will be televised on ESPN2 and ESPN 3D.

The Tuesday evening session begins with No. 10 Seton Hall and No. 15 Providence at 7 p.m., followed by No. 11 Rutgers against No. 14 Villanova at 9 p.m. on ESPNU and ESPN 3D.

No. 8-seed West Virginia will await the Connecticut/DePaul winner Wednesday at noon in the first of four second-round games. No. 5 Georgetown has the Pittsburgh/St. John's winner at 2 p.m., while No. 7 Louisville takes on the Providence/Seton Hall winner at 7 p.m. No. 6 USF closes Wednesday's action against the Villanova/Rutgers winner.

Friday's semifinals are scheduled for 7 and 9 p.m., while the championship game tips at 9 p.m. Saturday.

Wednesday's second-round games, Thursday's quarterfinals, Friday's semifinals and the championship game Saturday will be televised on ESPN.

Georgetown and Connecticut have won a conference-record seven BIG EAST Championships. The Huskies made history last season by winning five games in five days to take the conference crown on their way to an NCAA Championship.


First Round: Tuesday, March 6

Noon No. 16 DePaul vs. No. 9 Connecticut (ESPN2)
?2:00 PM No. 13 Pittsburgh vs. No. 12 St. John's (ESPN2)
?7:00 PM No. 15 Providence vs. No. 10 Seton Hall (ESPNU)
?9:00 PM No. 14 Villanova vs. No. 11 Rutgers (ESPNU)

Second Round: Wednesday, March 7

Noon Depaul/UConn vs. No. 8 West Virginia (ESPN)
?2:00 PM Pitt/St. John's vs. No. 5 Georgetown (ESPN)
?7:00 PM Providence/Seton Hall vs. No. 7 Louisville (ESPN)
?9:00 PM Villanova/Rutgers vs. No. 6 USF (ESPN)

Quarterfinals: Thursday, March 8

Noon Depaul/UConn/West Virginia vs. No. 1 Syracuse (ESPN)
?2:00 PM Pitt/St. John's/Georgetown vs. No. 4 Cincinnati (ESPN)
?7:00 PM Providence/Seton Hall/Louisville vs. No. 2 Marquette (ESPN)
?9:00 PM Villanova/Rutgers/USF vs. No. 3 Notre Dame (ESPN)

Semifinals: Friday, March 9

7:00 PM Winners of Thursday's noon and 2:00 games (ESPN)
?9:00 PM Winners of Thursday's 7:00 and 9:00 games (ESPN)

Championship: Saturday, March 10 at 9:00 PM (ESPN) 

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