The USF Bulls open the 2010 BIG EAST Championship presented by New York Life at Noon on Tuesday at Madison Square Garden. This is the Bulls second appearance in the BIG EAST tourney. A year ago, USF played in the same game as the No. 16 seed and 68-54 loss to Seton Hall in the first round. This year the Bulls earned the No. 9 seed in the Championship despite being selected to finish 14th in the preseason poll and they face the Blue Demons as the 16th seed in the opening game of the 16-team, five-day tournament.
USF and DePaul are meeting for the second time in eight days as the Bulls knocked off the Blue Demons, 63-59, at Allstate Arena on Mar. 2. Junior Dominique Jones scored 20 points and seven rebounds while senior Chris Howard had 13 points and four assists and sophomore Augustus Gilchrist added 11 points and five rebounds. DePaul's Mac Koshwal led all scorers with a double-double performance of 24 points and 11 rebounds. Senior guard Will Walker scored 16 points, but shot one for six on three point shots
USF enters the game with a 19-11 overall record and a 9-9 record in BIG EAST games. The Bulls have won three straight heading into the BIG EAST Championship and finished the season with a 75-68 win over UConn on Saturday.
DePaul is 8-22 overall and finished the BIG EAST portion of the schedule with a 1-17 record. The Blue Demons went to three overtimes in the regular-season finale on Friday night before falling to St. John's, 90-82.
Tuesday's game is the 23rd all-time meeting between the two programs with the Blue Demons holding a 15-7 advantage, but USF is 3-0 against DePaul in the past two seasons.
The Bulls are led by junior guard Dominique Jones, who was named First Team All-BIG EAST earning the BIG EAST scoring title with his 23.2 points per game in conference play. Jones also averaged 6.1 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 1.6 steals in 30 games this season. He is shooting 45.4 percent from the field and 76.4 percent at the charity stripe.
The winner of Tuesday's game advances to the second round to face eighth-seeded Georgetown at Noon ET on Wednesday.