Pairings Announced for 2011 BIG EAST Men's Basketball Championship presented by American Eagle Outfitters

CHAMPIONSHIP CENTRAL
CHAMPIONSHIP BRACKET

PROVIDENCE, R.I. -
After going 15-3 in conference play and winning the outright BIG EAST regular-season title, Pittsburgh has earned the No. 1 seed for The 2011 BIG EAST Championship presented by American Eagle Outfitters.
 
Pittsburgh wrapped up its sixth BIG EAST regular-season title Saturday with a 60-50 win against Villanova, giving the Panthers a one-game edge on second-place Notre Dame in the final standings. The Panthers will enter The BIG EAST Championship as the No. 1 overall seed for the third time and look to win their third BIG EAST tournament title.
 
Pittsburgh joins Notre Dame, Louisville and Syracuse as the top four seeds in The BIG EAST Championship, which begins Tuesday, March 8, at noon Eastern at Madison Square Garden in New York. Those four schools receive byes through two rounds of the tournament and won't play until Thursday's quarterfinals.
 
The Championship begins Tuesday with four first-round matchups. Connecticut and DePaul kick things off with a battle between the Nos. 9 and 16 seeds at noon, while No. 12 Seton Hall takes on No. 13 Rutgers at 2 p.m. to complete the afternoon session. Those games will be televised on ESPN2 and ESPN 3D.
 
The Tuesday evening session begins with No. 10 Villanova and No. 15 USF at 7 p.m., followed by No. 11 Marquette against No. 14 Providence at 9 p.m. on ESPNU and ESPN 3D.
 
No. 8-seed Georgetown will await the Connecticut/DePaul winner Wednesday at noon in the first of four second-round games. No. 5 St. John's has the Seton Hall/Rutgers winner at 2 p.m., while No. 7 Cincinnati takes on the Villanova /USF winner at 7 p.m. No. 6 West Virginia - the 2010 BIG EAST champion - closes Wednesday's action against the Marquette/Providence winner.
 
Friday's semifinals are scheduled for 7 and 9 p.m., while the championship game tips at 9 p.m. Saturday.
 
Wednesday's second-round games, Thursday's quarterfinals, Friday's semifinals and the championship game Saturday will be televised on ESPN.
 
Georgetown has won a conference-record seven BIG EAST Championships. Connecticut has won six tournament titles, while Syracuse has won five.
 
2011 BIG EAST CHAMPIONSHIP PRESENTED BY AMERICAN EAGLE OUTFITTERS
MADISON SQUARE GARDEN • NEW YORK, N.Y. 
 
Tuesday, March 8 - First Round (ESPN2/ESPN 3D)
No. 9 Connecticut (21-9) vs. No. 16 DePaul (7-23) Noon
No. 12 Seton Hall (13-17) vs. No. 13 Rutgers (14-16) 2 p.m.
Tuesday, March 8 - First Round (ESPNU/ESPN 3D)
No. 10 Villanova (21-10) vs. No. 15 USF (9-22) 7 p.m.
No. 11 Marquette (18-13) vs. No. 14 Providence (15-16) 9 p.m.
 
Wednesday, March 9 - Second Round (ESPN/ESPN 3D)
No. 8 Georgetown (21-9) vs. Connecticut/DePaul winner Noon
No. 5 St. John's (20-10) vs. Seton Hall/Rutgers winner 2 p.m.
No. 7 Cincinnati (24-7) vs. Villanova/USF winner 7 p.m.
No. 6 West Virginia (20-10) vs. Marquette/Providence winner 9 p.m.
 
Thursday, March 10 - Quarterfinals (ESPN/ESPN 3D)
No. 1 Pittsburgh (27-4) vs. 8/9/16 winner Noon
No. 4 Syracuse (25-6) vs. 5/12/13 winner 2 p.m.
No. 2 Notre Dame (25-5) vs. 7/10/15 winner 7 p.m.
No. 3 Louisville (23-8) vs. 6/11/14 winner 9 p.m.
 
Friday, March 11 - Semifinals (ESPN/ESPN 3D)
Thursday afternoon winners 7 p.m.
Thursday evening winners 9 p.m.
 
Saturday, March 12 - Championship (ESPN/ESPN 3D)
Semifinal winners 9 p.m.