March 6, 2011
NOTRE DAME, Ind. –
Notre Dame, which completed the regular season with a 25-5 record and 14-4 mark in BIG EAST play, will enter the upcoming 2011 BIG EAST Championship (presented by American Eagle Outfitter) as the No. 2 seed. The tournament, which is annually held at Madison Square Garden in New York, NY, will take place from March 8-12.
Winners of 11 of their last 12 outings, the Irish will have a double-bye in the championship and will play the winner of the second-round game between No. 7 seed Cincinnati and either No. 10 seed Villanova or No. 15 seed USF on Thursday, March 10 at 7:00 p.m. (ET). The contest will be televised on ESPN.
The 25 regular-season victories by the Irish are the most in the modern era and matches the most wins ever under head coach Mike Brey. Notre Dame’s 14-4 record equals the best BIG EAST mark in program history when that 2007-08 Irish squad also finished with 14-4 mark.
Pittsburgh earned the No. 1 seed as the Panthers are 27-4 overall and finished with a 15-3 regular-season mark to claim the regular-season crown. In addition to the Panthers and Irish, Louisville and Syracuse received byes through the first two rounds. The Cardinals (23-8, 12-6) are the No. 3 seed, while Orange (25-6, 12-6) earn the No. 4 seed.
St. John’s (20-10, 12-6) will be the No. 5 seed and West Virginia (20-10, 11-7) earns the No. 6 seed.
First-round action begins on Tuesday, March 8 with No. 9 seed Connecticut (21-9, 9-9) taking on No. 16 seed DePaul (7-23, 1-17), No. 12 seed Seton Hall (13-17, 7-11) taking on No. seed 13 (14-16, 5-13), No. 10 seed Villanova (21-10, 9-9) squaring off against No. 15 USF (9-22, 3-15), while No. 11 Marquette (18-13, 9-9) meets No. 14 Providence (15-16, 4-14).
Notre Dame’s four BIG EAST regular-season losses were all on the road at Syracuse (70-58), Marquette (79-57), St. John’s (72-54) and West Virginia (72-58).
The Irish have advanced to the semifinals of the BIG EAST Championship on three occasions — 2002, 2007 and 2010.