The Big East tournament tips off on Tuesday, with the bottom eight teams of the conference getting action underway beginning at Noon. The Pitt Panthers will need to win five games in five days to make the big dance - a feat only accomplished by UConn, just one year ago. The Panthers will play St. John's in the second game of the day, scheduled for tip around 2:00 pm. Pitt crushed the Johnnies by twenty points less than a week ago. If they win, they will face the Georgetown Hoyas on Wednesday at the same time.
There are two bubble teams playing that are in desperate need of a win to bolster their resume. The Connecticut Huskies open the tournament with a matchup against last-place DePaul at Noon. While the Huskies' season spiraled downward during the month of February, they received a huge boost this weekend with the return of head coach Jim Calhoun. SB Nation bracketologist Chris Dobbertean currently has UConn safely in the tournament as a ten seed. It was just one year ago that Calhoun rode Kemba Walker to the Big East Tournament Title, winning five games in five days. The near impossible quest to repeat that will begin Tuesday.
West Virginia fans will want to pay close attention to the first game of the day, as the 'Eers will face the winner of the DePaul and UConn game. SB Nation bracketology currently has WVU safely in the tourney as a ten seed, but a win or two in New York should help lock up a invitation to the dance.
The other bubble team in action on Tuesday is Seton Hall. Many felt the Pirates had punched their ticket to the dance with their convincing win over Georgetown but Kevin Willard's club then went on to lose their final two games to lowly Rutgers and DePaul. The Pirates were blown out by DePaul by thirty on Saturday, putting their dancing hopes in doubt. Dobbertean still has the Hall in the dance, slotted as a No. 12 seed and avoiding the play-in round. They will face Providence to tip off the night session at Madison Square Garden.
Tuesday's complete schedule and the full bracket below:
Noon: No. 16 DePaul vs. No. 9 Connecticut (ESPN2)
2 p.m.: No. 13 Pittsburgh vs. No. 12 St. John's (ESPN2)
7 p.m.: No. 15 Providence vs. No. 10 Seton Hall (ESPNU)
9 p.m.: No. 14 Villanova vs. No. 11 Rutgers (ESPNU)
For more on the Panthers, visit Cardiac Hill, SB Nation's Pitt blog. For more on the Mountaineers, check The Smoking Musket, SB Nation's WVU blog. For all your Big East news during championship week, check out Big East Coast Bias. Click here for more on the 2012 Big East Tournament.