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Women's Big East basketball tournament preview

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Big East women's tournament

When/where: Today-Tuesday; XL Center, Hartford, Conn.

Today: Syracuse vs. Providence, noon; USF vs. Pittsburgh, 2; Villanova vs. Seton Hall, 6; Cincinnati vs. Marquette, 8

Saturday: West Virginia vs. Syracuse-Providence winner, noon; DePaul vs. USF-Pittsburgh winner, 2:30; Louisville vs. Villanova-Seton Hall winner, 6; Rutgers vs. Cincinnati-Marquette winner, 8

TV: Sunday — top four seeds vs. Saturday's winners, noon, 2, 6 and 8; Monday — semifinals, 6 and 8 p.m., ESPNU; Tuesday — final, 7 ESPN

The favorite: Notre Dame won the regular-season title behind star Skylar Diggins and are an unusual top seed after Connecticut's perennial dominance.

The dark horse: Can Connecticut be that dark a horse in Hartford? The Huskies have been more mortal than in past years, but it's safe to think it should be a Notre Dame-UConn finale on Tuesday, with an NCAA No. 1 seed possibly on the line.

Looking at USF: The ninth-seeded Bulls did well to go 8-8 without leading scorer Andrea Smith all season; they should cruise past 0-16 Pitt and then face a DePaul team they beat in the regular season. From there, it would be top-seeded Notre Dame, though the Hartford crowd would likely pull for the underdog Bulls, who played close with the Fighting Irish last week in South Bend.

Wynne honored: USF's Jasmine Wynne was named the conference's most improved player and Diggins and DePaul's Anna Martin were unanimous all-conference selections.

Greg Auman, Times staff writer

Women's Big East basketball tournament preview 03/01/12 [Last modified: Thursday, March 1, 2012 11:03pm]
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