Huskies No. 5 Seed in Big East

After defeating Notre Dame 4-0 in the regular season finale Saturday in Storrs, the Connecticut baseball team received the No. 5 seed in the Big East baseball tournament that begins Wednesday in Clearwater, Fla.

The Huskies will open play against No. 4 USF at 8 p.m. Wednesday. The Bulls swept the Huskies in a three-game series May 11-13 in Tampa by scores of 3-2, 3-0 and 8-3.

Here's a look at the entire tournament, courtesy of the release from the Big East Conference:

Providence, R.I. – After earning a share of its third BIG EAST regular-season title in the past four years, Louisville has earned the No. 1 seed in the 2012 BIG EAST Baseball Championship, which begins Wednesday, May 23, at Bright House Field in Clearwater, Fla.

The tournament's opening ceremonies and awards presentations will be Tuesday, May 22 at 7 p.m. at Bright House Field, followed by the third annual BIG EAST Home Run Derby at 8 p.m.

The top eight teams in the final regular-season standings qualify for the BIG EAST Championship, which features a double-elimination format through the semifinal round. The championship final is a winner-take-all affair Sunday, May 27, which will determine the BIG EAST's automatic entrant to the NCAA Championship. The final will be televised at noon on ESPNU.

The Cardinals (38-18, 18-9 BIG EAST) entered the final weekend of regular-season play trailing St. John's by one game in the BIG EAST standings. But Louisville took two of three games from Pittsburgh, including a 9-5 win Saturday that put the Cardinals in position to get a share of the championship, pending the result of Saturday's game between St. John's and Seton Hall. Louisville secured the top seed after the Pirates won the rubber game of its three-game set with the Red Storm, forging a tie at the top between Louisville and St. John's. The Cardinals earned the tiebreaker based on a two-games-to-one series win against the Red Storm last week.

The No. 1 seeding pairs Louisville against Pittsburgh, which claimed the tournament's No. 8 seed after a wild final day of competition. The Panthers came out of a three-way tie for eighth in the final standings by virtue of a better head-to-head winning percentage against Villanova and Georgetown, the other tied teams.

St. John's (33-21, 18-9 BIG EAST), the preseason favorite of the conference's head coaches, earned a share of its seventh BIG EAST regular-season title – its first since 2008 – and will be the No. 2 seed in the championship for the second straight year. St. John's has reached the final game in the last three BIG EAST Championships and won a record six BIG EAST tournament titles. The Red Storm will face Notre Dame (29-25, 14-13 BIG EAST), the tournament's No. 7 seed, in the opening round, pairing the two winningest teams in BIG EAST Championship competition. St. John's has a record 40 all-time wins in the tournament, while the Irish have 32.

Seton Hall (33-22, 17-10 BIG EAST) will be the No. 3 seed in the BIG EAST Championship after the Pirates won four of their last five games to close the regular season. The Pirates were the No. 5 seed in last year's championship, but came away with their third BIG EAST title by beating St. John's in the final. Seton Hall will begin defense of its championship Wednesday at 10 a.m. against No. 6-seeded Rutgers (31-23, 16-11 BIG EAST) in the opening game of the tournament.

USF (35-20, 18-10 BIG EAST) enters the field as the No. 4 seed, pairing the Bulls against No. 5-seeded Connecticut (29-25-1, 16-11 BIG EAST) Wednesday at 8 p.m. The Bulls are looking for their first BIG EAST title, while the Huskies go for their first title since 1994. Connecticut has reached the championship final three times in the last five years.

The May 27 BIG EAST Championship final will be televised live on ESPNU, marking the seventh straight year in which the title game will be carried live on the ESPN family of networks.

Coverage of the BIG EAST Championship also will be available on the web at www.bigeastbaseball.com. The site will include free live streaming video of all games from the first four days of competition along with live coverage of Tuesday's opening ceremonies and Home Run Derby.

2012 BIG EAST Baseball Championship Schedule

Tuesday, May 22

Opening Ceremonies/Award Presentations/Home Run Derby - Gates open at 6 p.m.; ceremonies begin at 7 p.m.

Home Run Derby Participants

Connecticut – Ryan Fuller (.314, 4 HR, 34 RBI)

Louisville – Ryan Seiz (.147, 1 HR, 7 RBI)

Notre Dame – Trey Mancini (.307, 12 HR, 44 RBI)

Pittsburgh – Rick Devereaux (.371, 7 HR, 54 RBI)

Rutgers – Patrick Kivlehan (.399, 14 HR, 50 RBI)

St. John's – Matt Wessinger (.338, 6 HR, 44 RBI)

Seton Hall – Connor Delepine (.000, 0 HR, 0 RBI)

USF – Jimmy Falla (.280, 2 HR, 17 RBI)

Wednesday, May 23 - Four games

(Live video on www.bigeastbaseball.com)

Game 1 – No. 6 Rutgers (31-23) vs. No. 3 Seton Hall (33-22), 10 a.m.

Game 2 – No. 7 Notre Dame (29-25) vs. No. 2 St. John's (33-21), 1 p.m.

Game 3 – No. 8 Pittsburgh (28-26) vs. No. 1 Louisville (38-18), 5 p.m.

Game 4 – No. 5 Connecticut (29-25-1) vs. No. 4 USF (34-20), 8 p.m.

Thursday, May 24 - Four games

(Live video on www.bigeastbaseball.com)

Game 5 – Loser of Game 1 vs. Loser of Game 2, 10 a.m.

Game 6 – Winner of Game 1 vs. Winner of Game 2, 1 p.m.

Game 7 – Loser of Game 3 vs. Loser of Game 4, 5 p.m.

Game 8 – Winner of Game 3 vs. Winner of Game 4, 8 p.m.

Friday, May 25 - Two games

(Live video on www.bigeastbaseball.com)

Game 9 – Loser of Game 6 vs. Winner of Game 5, 4 p.m.

Game 10 – Loser of Game 8 vs. Winner of Game 7, 7 p.m.

Saturday, May 26 - Two, three, or four games

(Live video on www.bigeastbaseball.com)

Game 11 – Winner of Game 6 vs. Winner of Game 9, 10 a.m.

Game 12 – Winner of Game 8 vs. Winner of Game 10, 1 p.m.

Game 13 – Loser of Game 11 vs. Winner of Game 11, 5 p.m. (if necessary)

Game 14 – Loser of Game 12 vs. Winner of Game 12, 6:30 p.m. or 8 p.m.

(if necessary; game would be at 6:30 if Game 13 is not necessary, 8 p.m. otherwise)

Sunday, May 27 - Championship game

(live television on ESPNU)

Game 15 – Winner of Group 1 vs. Winner of Group 2, Noon


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