NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 10: Ashton Gibbs #12 of the Pittsburgh Panthers brings the ball up court against the Connecticut Huskies during the quarterfinals of the 2011 Big East Men's Basketball Tournament presented by American Eagle Outfitters at Madison Square Garden on March 10, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
Big East basketball conference play is finally underway tonight when the No. 22 Pittsburgh Panthers (11-2) travel to play the Notre Dame Fighting Irish (8-5) at 7 p.m. The Providence Friars (11-2) will also travel to play the St. John's Red Storm (6-5) tonight at 7 p.m.
No. 22 Pitt at Notre Dame: Pittsburgh, the defending Big East regular season champ, leads the conference in points per possession offense (1.117) and the nation in rebound differential (+13.2). Notre Dame has won the last three meetings and leads the all-time series 29-27 (16-9 at home). The Irish have made at least one three-pointer in 421 straight games. Pitt leading scorer: Ashton Gibbs, 17.2 ppg. Notre Dame leading scorer: Eric Atkins, 13.9 ppg.
Providence at St. John's: St. John's leads the series 56-42, but Providence has won 12 of the last 15 meetings. Providence has the second leading assist man in the conference in Vincent Council (6.9 apg). Amir Garrett made his first appearance for the Red Storm last game. Providence leading scorer: Vincent Council, 16.9 ppg. St. John's leading scorer: Maurice Harkless, D`Angelo Harrison, 14.2 ppg.
Here's the Big East conference schedule for this week:
|Tuesday, Dec. 27|
|Pittsburgh at Notre Dame||7 p.m.||ESPN2|
|Providence at St. John's||7 p.m.||ESPN3|
|Wednesday, Dec. 28|
|Georgetown at Louisville||7 p.m.||ESPN2|
|Seton Hall at Syracuse||7 p.m.||ESPN3|
|Villanova at West Virginia||7 p.m.||ESPN3|
|Connecticut at USF||9 p.m.||ESPN3|
|Friday, Dec. 30|
|West Virginia at Seton Hall||9 p.m.||ESPN2|
Click here to see the full Big East 2011-2012 basketball conference schedule.