Postseason Begins Tuesday For BIG EAST Men's Basketball

 The regular-season is complete and the BIG EAST Championship has been presented, but there is still much at stake for 11 of the BIG EAST's 16 men's basketball teams.

The postseason begins Tuesday with the first games of the NCAA, NIT and College Basketball Invitational tournaments, and the BIG EAST will have a presence in all three events.

Seton Hall was left out of the 68-team NCAA field, but the Pirates earned a No. 1 seed in the NIT, giving them two NIT bids in the past three seasons. Seton Hall will face America East runner-up Stony Brook Tuesday at 7:15 p.m. at Walsh Gymnasium on the Seton Hall campus. The winner will move on to face either Mississippi State or Massachusetts in the second round.

Pittsburgh saw its streak of 10 straight NCAA tournament appearances end this year, but the Pirates will play in the postseason for a 12th straight year when they begin play Wednesday in the CBI. Pittsburgh will host Wofford at 7 p.m. ET at the Petersen Events Center, with the winner advancing to face either Princeton or Evansville in a second-round game.

The NCAA Championship formally gets under way Tuesday with the first two games of the First Four series in Dayton, Ohio. USF, which is making its first NCAA tournament appearance in 20 years, plays its NCAA opener Wednesday against California in the First Four, with the winner moving on to face Temple in the second round.

The NCAA tournament begins in earnest Thursday, kicking off what might be the most exciting two days in sports. Connecticut, Louisville, Marquette, Syracuse and West Virginia all play second-round games on Thursday, while Notre Dame, Cincinnati, Georgetown and USF (if it beats California) play Friday.

The 11 postseason teams are nothing new to the BIG EAST, which has had at least that many in each of the last three seasons. The conference placed a record 11 teams into the 2011 NCAA tournament and had a record 13 teams reach the postseason in 2010. Under the league's current configuration, all 16 men's basketball teams have played in the postseason since 2005-06