Big East Basketball Report

The Big East will be splattered all over national television this weekend as big matchups, both in and out of conference, dominate the airwaves.

Pitt, Georgetown Battle For First Place

Pittsburgh and Georgetown will battle for first place in the BIG EAST on Saturday in Washington, D.C. CBS will be there to carry the game nationally at 2 p.m. ET. Both squads are 11-2 in league play. The Panthers won the first meeting, 74-69 in Pittsburgh on Jan. 13. Four of the last seven meetings between the two teams have been decided by three points or less. Both teams shoot the ball well and both know how to defend with the best. Georgetown, which is on a 10-game winning streak, leads the BIG EAST in field goal shooting in league games at 53.5 percent. Pitt is second at 47.5 percent. Defensively, the Hoyas top the BIG EAST in scoring defense, giving up only 57.9 points per game. The Panthers are second, yielding 59.1 points per contest.

Blockbuster Television Weekend In The BIG EAST

It's hard to believe that a conference could have more national television exposure in one regular season weekend than the BIG EAST has this Saturday and Sunday. The league will have three national telecasts on CBS, two on ESPN, one on ABC and its regular ESPN Regional/BIG EAST Game of the Week, which goes to nearly one-third of the nation. Every game involves at least one team that is trying to improve its postseason chances. The action starts at noon ET when Syracuse plays at Providence on ESPN and Cincinnati travels to DePaul in the BIG EAST Game of the Week. At 2 p.m. the Pitt at Georgetown game is televised by CBS. At 3:45, Marquette plays at Notre Dame on ABC. At 4 p.m., Villanova hosts Rutgers on ESPN. On Sunday, CBS has a pair of games involving BIG EAST teams. Louisville plays at Connecticut at noon and St. John's hosts Duke at 2 p.m.

BIG EAST Teams Are Peaking

As crunch time approaches, several BIG EAST teams are making late charges. For the first time this season, the BIG EAST has six teams ranked in the two national polls -- Pittsburgh, Georgetown, Marquette, West Virginia, Louisville and Notre Dame – more than any other Division I conference. Not only are these teams playing their best basketball of the season, but their futures are bright. Of the 30 starters on the six teams, only eight are seniors.

Milestones For Calhoun, Dixon, Notre Dame

On Wednesday, Connecticut head coach Jim Calhoun won his 750th career game when his Husky team won at Rutgers. Pittsburgh's Jamie Dixon is in only his fourth year as a head coach, but he earned his 100th victory with the Panthers at Seton Hall on Monday. He reached 100 wins faster than any coach in Pitt history. Last Thursday, Notre Dame became only 11th Division I program to win 1,200 games when the Irish beat Providence 81-78. Of the 11 programs, the BIG EAST also has St. John's (1,704 wins) and Syracuse (1,699).

Also, West Virginia head coach John Beilein is just three wins short of attaining his 100th victory at WVU.

Hathaway Named To NCAA Basketball Committee

Connecticut athletic director Jeff Hathaway has been named to the NCAA Division I Basketball Committee. The appointment is effective Sept. 1, 2007 and is a five-year term. The 10-member committee oversees administration of the NCAA Division I Basketball Championship, including the selection and seeding of teams in the tournament. Hathaway becomes the fourth person from the BIG EAST to serve, joining former Commissioner Dave Gavitt, current Commissioner Michael Tranghese and former Syracuse athletic director Jake Crouthamel.

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