March 7, 2014
March 7, 2014
CHICAGO, Ill. - The road to a new BIG EAST Tournament champion begins tomorrow with the First Round featuring two games at DePaul's McGrath-Phillips Arena. Seventh-seeded Seton Hall will battle with 10th-seeded Providence at 4 p.m. (Central), followed by No. 8 seed Georgetown against No. 9 seed Xavier at 6:30 p.m. Both games can be heard live, free of charge, on BIGEAST.com/all-access.
The Pirates (17-12, 8-10 BIG EAST) swept the season series against the Friars (7-22, 2-16), earning a three-point win at PC in late January before a 10-point victory at home in mid-February. The Friars and Pirates have met three times in BIG EAST Tournament history, with Seton Hall owning a 2-1 advantage. In each of the three previous postseason meetings, the lower-seeded team has prevailed and advanced. Their last postseason meeting was in the 2002 BIG EAST Tournament, when No. 8 Providence was upset by No. 9 Seton Hall, 61-55, in the first round.
Providence is 19-25 all-time at the BIG EAST Tournament and is in search of its first win since a 2001 win over Seton Hall. The Pirates are 17-29 in conference postseason play, going 1-1 as last season's 12 seed.
No. 2 seed St. John's (20-9, 13-5) will await the winner of the SHU-PC contest. The Red Storm swept both season series against their potential opponents, including their regular-season finale win at Providence on March 3. St. John's is 21-26 at the BIG EAST Tournament, going 1-1 at the 2013 edition which included a win over Seton Hall.
Georgetown (10-20, 4-14) and Xavier (8-22, 3-15) split the regular-season series with each team successfully defending its home court. The Musketeers are making their BIG EAST Tournament debut, while the Hoyas are 13-28 all-time in the BIG EAST Tournament, including 5-8 in games played against first-time postseason opponents. As last season's 11 seed, GU defeated Providence in the First Round before falling in the Second Round to Villanova.
Top-seeded DePaul (24-6, 15-3) will face the winner of the GU-XU tilt. The Blue Demons have won 13 of their last 14, including their regular-season finale win at home over the Hoyas. DePaul swept both season series against Georgetown and Xavier and is 8-8 all-time at the BIG EAST Tournament. The Blue Demons went 1-1 at the 2013 tournament, earning a win over Marquette.
Also set for Sunday's Quarterfinal Round are matchups between No. 6 Butler and No. 3 Creighton (2:30 p.m., CST), before No. 4 Villanova and No. 5 Marquette close out the night at 8:30 p.m. League newcomers Butler (15-14, 10-8) and Creighton (18-12, 12-6) split the season series after the Bulldogs handed the Bluejays their lone home loss of BIG EAST play in Tuesday's regular-season finale.
The Wildcats (22-7, 12-6) swept the season series against the Golden Eagles (20-9, 11-7) following an 81-64 win in Tuesday's regular-season finale. Villanova and Marquette have met twice previously in the BIG EAST Tournament with each earning a win. The Golden Eagles, who are 5-8 all-time at the conference tournament, won the most recent postseason showdown in 2010, while the Wildcats, who are 31-27 at the BIG EAST Tournament, won the 2006 matchup.
The Quarterfinals played at Allstate Arena can be seen via live stream, free of charge, on BIGEAST.com/allaccess. Sunday's Quarterfinal winners will square off on FOX Sports 1 in the Semifinals beginning at 3 p.m. (CST) on Monday, followed by the BIG EAST Tournament Final on Tuesday evening at 8 p.m. (CST), also to be aired on FOX Sports 1.