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Big East Tournament: Matchups If It Started Today

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Our friend Mike Rutherford with the Card Chronicle has laid out how the Big East Tournament would play out if the regular season ended today. After last year's Connecticut run of winning five games in five days, it's a good idea to keep an eye out for how those first day games play out. It's also worth paying attention to how the race for the first four places in the Big East and a double-bye into the quarterfinals breaks down as well. Here's how Rutherford says the Tournament would be setup if it started today.

2012 Big East Basketball Tournament (as of February 16)

First Round, March 16
#16 Providence vs. #9 Connecticut, noon, ESPN2
#13 Villanova vs. #12 Pittsburgh, 2 p.m., ESPN2
#10 West Virginia vs. #15 DePaul, 7 p.m., ESPN U
#11 Rutgers vs. #14 St. John's, 9 p.m., ESPNU

Second Round, March 9
#8 Seton Hall vs. #16/9 winner, noon, ESPN
#5 South Florida vs. #13/12 winner, 2 p.m., ESPN
#7 Louisville vs. #10/15 winner, 7 p.m., ESPN
#6 Cincinnati vs. #11/14 winner, 9 p.m., ESPN

Quarterfinals, March 10
#1 Syracuse vs. #8/9/16 winner, noon, ESPN
#4 Georgetown vs. #5/12/13 winner, 2 p.m., ESPN
#2 Notre Dame vs. #7/10/15 winner, 7 p.m., ESPN
#3 Marquette vs. #6/11/14 winner, 9 p.m., ESPN

Semifinals, March 11
#1/8/9/16 winner vs. #4/5/12/13 winner, 7 p.m., ESPN
#2/7/10/15 winner vs. #3/6/11/14 winner, 9 p.m., ESPN

Final, March 12
Semifinal winners, 9 p.m., ESPN

Obviously a lot can change between now and then, but it's still surprising to see South Florida with the #5 seed in the Big East Tournament in late February. Will that hold up? We doubt it. The top four seed are also unlikely to change very much unless Louisville wins out or wins four of its final five games and then gets help since it does not have a tiebreaker with any of the teams in front of it.

Be sure to check back to our Big East Basketball Section for updates on the conference race and NCAA Tournament bubble buzz.