Two of the coveted double byes have been clinched for the BIG EAST Championship presented by American Eagle Outfitters as the final week of regular-season play gets underway.
Marquette became the first team to punch its ticket to the quarterfinal round of the championshp as the Golden Eagles were 72-64 winners against Notre Dame at the BMO Harris Bradley Center. It was Marquette's 25th consecutive home victory and it moved the Golden Eagles into a second-place tie in the BIG EAST standings.
Louisville joins Marquette in second place at 12-4 in BIG EAST play after the Cardinals were 58-53 winners at Syracuse Saturday. Louisivlle has not mathematically clinched a double bye, but the Cardinals would need to have a series of games work against them to miss out on one of the four trips to the quarterfinals.
Georgetown can make travel plans for next Thursday after the Hoyas handled Rutgers 64-51 in Washington. The Hoyas improved to 13-3 in BIG EAST play and need just one win to clinch at least a share of the BIG EAST regular-season title.
Providence forged a three-way tie for ninth place in the standings with a 62-59 win against St. John's at the Dunkin' Donuts Center. It was the sixth win in seven games for Providence, which has erased a 2-7 start to get to 8-8 in BIG EAST play.
Cincinnati picked up its 20th win of the season as the Bearcats held off Connecticut 61-56 at Fifth Third Arena.
Sunday's BIG EAST schedule shows two games. Pittsburgh plays its final home game of the season at the Petersen Events Center when it hosts Villanova. The Panthers have won nine of their last 12 games, a run that began with a 58-43 win at Villanova on Jan. 16.
USF hosts DePaul in the Bulls' final game in the Sun Dome. The Bulls are trying to end a 10-game losing streak while the Blue Demons are trying to win for the second time in three games.