Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
If you’re hoping to see the first round of the Big East Tournament on March 10, you’ll have to either get a ticket to Madison Square Garden or watch the games online.
The first-round games — which could potentially include a Rutgers-Seton Hall ‘Sopranos’-Style Showdown — won’t be shown on SNY, MSG or ESPNU.
ESPN will televise the last four days of the event, including Saturday night’s championship game.
ESPN owns all the rights to the tournament and a spokesman for The Worldwide Leader said “a combination of factors” is responsible for the games not being televised.
“It is a combination of factors,” Michael Humes said. “The format of the tournament was changed after we reached our agreement with the conference and these four games, and extra Tournament day, are in addition to content beyond what we committed to televise. Also, our main Championship Week networks are packed with other commitments.
“The Big East will still receive the most extensive coverage of any conference championship on ESPN and fans will be able to watch the games on their site.”
The first-round games will be streamed live on BigEast.org. The conference is paying for the production of the games.
The Big East Tournament this year will expand from 12 teams to include all 16. Under the new format, the bottom eight teams will play March 10. The teams seeded 5-8 will receive a bye through the first day and will play the winners of the 9-16 games on March 11.
The top four teams receive a double-bye and don’t play until the quarterfinals March 12. At this point, those teams would be UConn, Louisville, Pitt and Marquette.
Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.