Big East Notebook

News and notes from around the Big East conference, including a look at the race for first round byes in the crowded standings.

Want A Bye To The Big East Quarterfinals? Win On The Road

In The Big East Championship at Madison Square Garden March 10-14, the top four seeded teams earn byes into the quarterfinal round.  Those teams would only have to win three games to take home the title.  History says that's important because only two teams have won the tournament crown by having to win four games.  This season, the top four teams in the standings are the only teams that have winning road records in conference play.  Connecticut is in first place with a 12-2 Big East mark and the Huskies own a 7-0 road record.  Pittsburgh, Louisville, and Marquette are close behind UConn at 11-2.  Pitt is 6-1 away from home while Louisville is 5-1 and Marquette is 4-2.

The Middle Of The Standings Is Cluttered

While a bye into the quarterfinals is the most desirable goal, earning a seed among the top eight also is an advantage.  With all 16 teams participating this year in The Big East Championship for the first time, the teams seeded ninth through 16th will have to play in the first round.  Currently, there is a logjam in the middle of the standings with half of the 16 teams in the league between five and eight wins, including a three-way tie for seventh place among Syracuse, West Virginia and Cincinnati.  All three squads are 7-6.

Pitt-UConn Game Was Must-See Viewing, More To Come

This past Monday, Pittsburgh and Connecticut put on a classic for ESPN with the fourth-ranked Panthers knocking off the top-ranked Huskies 76-69.  The television audience agreed.  The game was seen by an average of nearly 2.1 million households making it the network's most viewed Big East regular-season game since ESPN began keeping viewership records in 1990.  The game was the 25th league contest this season between ranked opponents.  The high-level contests continue this weekend with Marquette traveling to Georgetown Saturday on ESPN at 2 p.m. ET.  On Sunday, CBS Sports carries Villanova at Syracuse at 1 p.m.  Louisville visits Georgetown at 7 p.m. on ESPN's Big Monday.

Double-Doubling Their Pleasure

Notre Dame's Luke Harangody and Connecticut's Jeff Adrien are tied for second in the nation in career double-doubles with 44 apiece.  The Big East has five players who have recorded 10 more double-doubles this season.  Harangody leads the way with 18.  Pittsburgh's DeJuan Blair has 16 followed by Louisville's Earl Clark at 12.  Adrien and teammate Hasheem Thabeet have 11.

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