Big East Tournament: Disappointing UConn needs a miracle run

Our conference tournament previews continue with the Big East, which will put at least seven teams into the NCAA tournament with Notre Dame, Seton Hall and Connecticut trying to add to that list.

Big East Tournament

Date: March 9-13

Site: Madison Square Garden

First round
No. 9 South Florida vs. No. 16 DePaul
No. 12 Connecticut vs. No. 13 St. John's
No. 10 Seton Hall vs. No. 15 Providence
No. 11 Cincinnati vs. No. 14 Rutgers

Second Round
No. 8 Georgetown vs. USF/DePaul
No. 5 Marquette vs. Connecticut/St. John's
No. 7 Notre Dame vs. Seton Hall/Providence
No. 6 Louisville vs. Cincinnati/Rutgers

No. 1 Syracuse vs. 8/9/16 winner
No. 4 Villanova vs. 5/12/13 winner
No. 2 Pittsburgh vs. 7/10/15 winner
No. 3 West Virginia vs. 6/11/14 winner

Favorite: Syracuse (28-3)

Contenders: Pittsburgh (24-7), West Virginia (24-6), Villanova (24-6), Marquette (20-10), Louisville (20-11)

Did you know: South Florida has never won a Big East tournament game, falling in the opening round last year and failing to qualify the previous three seasons.

Outlook: Syracuse is the top seed and favorite, but the intrigue is further down in the draw. Connecticut needs at minimum a semifinal run to play itself back into at-large consideration for the NCAA tournament, while Seton Hall and Notre Dame also may have to win a game or two to feel confident about their at-large chances. The Irish should be particularly intriguing to watch since they will be working Luke Harangody back into the rotation off the bench after the team won four straight to end the regular season essentially without him.

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