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Saturday / December 16.
  • Louisville Earns Top Seed in Big East Tourney

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    After claiming its first Big East regular-season title in the last game of the season, Louisville has earned the top seed in the 2009 Big East Championship.

    The Cardinals, who were 62-59 winners at West Virginia late Saturday, took the outright regular-season title just one year after being denied by Georgetown in a virtual championship game to close the 2007-08 season.

    “It’s awesome because it’s the toughest league in the history of the Big East,” Cardinals coach Rick Pitino told Erin Andrews of ESPN. “It’s an awesome accomplishment, I’m real proud of the guys.”

    Louisville joins Pittsburgh, Connecticut and Villanova as the top four seeds in the Big East Championship, which begins Tuesday at Madison Square Garden. Those four schools receive byes through two rounds of tournament and won’t play until Thursday’s quarterfinals.

    The championship begins Tuesday with four first-round matchups. Cincinnati and DePaul kick things off with a battle between the Nos. 9 and 16 seeds at noon, while No. 12 Georgetown takes on No. 13 St. John’s at 2 p.m. to complete the afternoon session.

    The Tuesday evening session begins with No. 10 Notre Dame and No. 15 Rutgers at 7 p.m., followed by No. 11 Seton Hall against No. 14 USF at 9 p.m.

    No. 8-seeded Providence will await the Cincinnati/DePaul winner Wednesday at noon in the first of four second-round games. No. 5 Marquette has the Georgetown/St. John’s winner at 2 p.m., while No. 7 West Virginia takes on the Notre Dame/Rutgers winner at 7 p.m. No. 6 Syracuse closes Wednesday’s action against the Seton Hall/USF winner.

    Friday’s semifinals are scheduled for 7 and 9 p.m., while the championship game taps at 9 p.m. Saturday.

    Tuesday’s first-round games can be seen for free on BIGEAST.org, while the remainder of the tournament will be televised on ESPN.

    Connecticut has won six tournament titles, while Syracuse has won five.

    2009 BIG EAST championshiP • MADISON SQUARE GARDEN • NEW YORK, N.Y.

    Tuesday, March 10 – First Round (BIGEAST.tv)
    No. 9 Cincinnati vs. No. 16 DePaul……………………………………………… Noon

    No. 12 Georgetown vs. No. 13 St. John’s…………………………………… 2 p.m.

    No. 10 Notre Dame vs. No. 15 Rutgers………………………………………. 7 p.m.

    No. 11 Seton Hall vs. No. 14 USF……………………………………………… 9 p.m.

    Wednesday, March 11 – Second Round (ESPN)

    No. 8 Providence vs. Cincinnati/DePaul winner……………………………….. Noon

    No. 5 Marquette vs. Georgetown/St. John’s winner………………………. 2 p.m.

    No. 7 West Virginia vs. Notre Dame/Rutgers winner……………………….. 7 p.m.

    No. 6 Syracuse vs. Seton Hall/USF winner…………………………………… 9 p.m.

    Thursday, March 12 – Quarterfinals (ESPN)

    No. 1 Louisville vs. 8/9/16 winner………………………………………………. Noon

    No. 4 Villanova vs. 5/12/13 winner……………………………………………. 2 p.m.

    No. 2 Pittsburgh vs. 7/10/15 winner…………………………………………. 7 p.m.

    No. 3 Connecticut vs. 6/11/14 winner……………………………………….. 9 p.m.

    Friday, March 13 – Semifinals (ESPN)

    Thursday afternoon winners……………………………………………………. 7 p.m.

    Thursday evening winners……………………………………………………… 9 p.m.

    Saturday, March 14 – Championship (ESPN)

    Semifinal winners 9 p.m.

    (Courtesy BigEast.org)

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    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.