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Bulls to try to extend roll vs. 'Nova

Round 1 Round 2 Quarterfinals Semifinals Final Semifinals Quarterfinals Round 2 Round 1
TUESDAY TOday Thursday Friday Saturday Friday Thursday TOday TUESDAY
9 UConn 81 1 Syracuse 2 Marquette 10 SHU 79
9 UConn Noon, ESPN 7, ESPN 10 SHU
16 DePaul 67 Noon, ESPN 7, ESPN 15 Prov. 47
8 W. Virginia 7 Louisville
5 G'town 6 USF
12 SJU 59 2, ESPN 9, ESPN 11 Rutgers 49
13 Pitt 2, ESPN 9, ESPN 14 'Nova
13 Pitt 73 4 Cincinnati 3 Notre Dame 14 'Nova 70

NEW YORK — A year ago, USF had never beaten Villanova, but tonight the Bulls will try to beat the Wildcats for the fourth time in a row after 14th-seeded Villanova knocked off 11th-seeded Rutgers 70-49 in Tuesday's opening round of the Big East tournament at Madison Square Garden.

The Wildcats (13-18) trailed 34-30 at halftime but outscored Rutgers 40-15 in the second half, holding the Scarlet Knights to 12 percent shooting (3-for-25) from the field. USF (19-12) upset Villanova on March 8 of last year in the first round of the tournament and swept the Wildcats this season on the way to a 12-6 Big East record. A win tonight would solidify USF's position for its first NCAA Tournament bid in 20 years.

Guard Maalik Wayns led Villanova with 28 points, including 13-of-14 on free throws, and the Wildcats dominated Rutgers in rebounding 43-29. Forward Mouphtaou Yarou had 13 points and 12 rebounds.

Rutgers (14-18) trailed 46-41 with 12 minutes left and collapsed the rest of the way. Freshman guard Eli Carter led the Scarlet Knights with 23 points.

SETON HALL 79, PROVIDENCE 47: Tenth-seeded Seton Hall, which stumbled into the week wobbly on the NCAA Tournament bubble, picked up a much-needed win, routing 15th-seeded Providence.

The Pirates (20-11) bounced back from a loss to last-place DePaul on Saturday, trailing 9-0 before they opened up a 26-5 run on the Friars (15-17), who took their most lopsided loss in 32 Big East tournament games.

Seton Hall senior Jordan Theodore had 13 points and 13 assists, the latter one off the Big East tournament record. The Pirates went 9-for-19 on 3-pointers while holding Providence to a 4-for-21 effort beyond the arc.

Seton Hall advances to face seventh-seeded Louisville, pitting Pirates coach Kevin Willard against his mentor and friend, Louisville's Rick Pitino, whom he worked with as an assistant for 10 seasons.

UCONN 81, DePAUL 67: The defending national champion Huskies, who won five games in five days last year as the Big East's No. 9 seed, started with an easy win against the bottom seed Blue Demons (12-19). UConn (19-12) went 7-for-9 on 3-pointers in the first half and was led by sophomore Jeremy Lamb's 25 points.

Counting last year's Big East and NCAA runs, UConn has won 12 consecutive postseason games, and today it will face an NCAA bubble team in eighth-seeded West Virginia. Connecticut won 64-57 at home when the two teams met in January.

PITT 73, ST. JOHN'S 59: The 13th-seeded Panthers, who had dropped six of seven entering the tournament, got 20 points from senior guard Ashton Gibbs. St. John's (13-19) got 25 points from forward Moe Harkless, who was honored after the game as the Big East rookie of the year. Pittsburgh (17-15) advances to face fifth-seeded Georgetown. The Panthers knocked off the Hoyas 72-60 in their only regular-season meeting.

Bulls to try to extend roll vs. 'Nova 03/06/12 [Last modified: Wednesday, March 7, 2012 12:16am]
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