March 8, 2009
NOTRE DAME, Ind. –
The Notre Dame men’s basketball team has earned the No. 10 seed for the 2009 BIG EAST Men’s Basketball Championship that will take place March 10-14 at Madison Square Garden in New York City, N.Y.. The Irish (17-13, 8-10) will face No. 15 seed Rutgers (11-20, 2-16) in first round action on Tuesday, March 10 at 7:00 p.m. (ET).
The BIG EAST, in conjunction with its Digital Media partner, JumpTV, will offer exclusive free live video streams of the four first-round games through the conference’s official streaming video platform, BIGEAST.tv.
Notre Dame finished tied for ninth with Cincinnati in the final regular-season standings, but the Bearcats earned the No. 9 seed in the tournament by virtue of their 93-83 win over the Irish during the regular season. Notre Dame is 4-13 all-time in BIG EAST Tournament action and 3-8 under head coach Mike Brey. Irish teams have advanced to the semifinals (both under Brey) on two occasions — 2002 and 2007.
The Irish lead the all-time series against Rutgers 15-11 and have won four straight over the Scarlet Knights. This will be the third time meeting in BIG EAST championship play between the two schools with each team earning a victory. Notre Dame defeated the Scarlet Knights 74-62 in first-round action of the 2000 championship to post the first-ever win by an Irish team in the BIG EAST Tournament. In 2005, Rutgers handed Notre Dame a 72-65 setback in the first round.
This will be the second meeting of the season between the teams. The Irish won the only regular-season matchup when they registered a 70-65 victory at the Joyce Center on Feb. 25. Notre Dame is 9-4 all-time against Rutgers under Brey.
A win against the Scarlet Knights in the first round would pit Notre Dame against No. 7 West Virginia (21-10, 10-8) in second round action. That contest would be played on Wednesday evening, March 11 at 7:00 p.m. (ET) and will be shown live on ESPN. The Mountaineers defeated the Irish earlier this season, 79-68, in Morgantown, W. Va. Following first-round action, all second round, quarterfinal, semifinal and championship game contests will be shown live on ESPN.