PISCATAWAY, N.J. - Rutgers (14-15, 5-13) heads to the 2013 BIG?EAST Championship Presented by American Eagle Outfitters as the No. 11 seed and will meet No. 14 seed DePaul (11-20, 2-16) in a 9 p.m. tip-off on Tuesday at Madison Square Garden. The winner of the contest will play No. 6 Notre Dame (23-8, 11-7) in a second round match-up at 9 p.m. on Wednesday. The winner of the Rutgers/DePaul vs. Notre Dame game will play No. 3 seed Marquette (23-7, 14-4) in a quarterfinals contest at 9 p.m. on Thursday. Rutgers lost to DePaul, Notre Dame and Marquette in the regular season but was within a single point against all three with less than two minutes to play.
Tuesday night’s first round game will be televised live nationally in high definition on ESPNU. Sean McDonough will serve as play-by-play announcer and Bill Raftery and Jay Bilas will provide analysis. If Rutgers advances, its second round game will be broadcast by the same primary crew on ESPN2 at approximately 9 p.m. Quarterfinal, semifinal and championship games will be on ESPN. On the radio, all games will be broadcast live on the Rutgers Radio Network, WOR 710 AM in New York and WCTC 1450 AM in New Brunswick. Chris Carlin will serve as play-by-play announcer and Dick Lloyd will provide commentary. WRSU (88.7) will also broadcast the games.
Rutgers has a 6-13 overall record in the BIG EAST Tournament. The Scarlet Knights and Blue Demons have never met in Championship play. Tuesday evening’s contest marks the 10th meeting between Rutgers and DePaul since 2006, with the Scarlet Knights leading the series 5-4. Four of the last five meeting have been decided by six points or less. Despite a career-best 28 points on 11-of-19 shooting from Myles Mack (Paterson, N.J.) on Feb. 16 earlier this season, the Scarlet Knights could not pull out the victory at DePaul. Mack scored 16 consecutive points for RU with under eight minutes to play, but the Blue Demons posted nine of the contest’s final 12 points to seal the victory. Rutgers’ leading scorer Eli Carter (Paterson, N.J.) sustained a fractured right fibula in the game and was sidelined for the remainder of the season.
Picked 11th in the league’s preseason coaches poll, Rutgers concluded its season with a 56-51 win at rival Seton Hall Friday night in part II of the “Turnpike Tussle.” The victory provided the Scarlet Knights their first regular season series sweep of the Pirates since 2000-01 and enabled RU to finish ahead of SHU in the BIG EAST standings for the first time since 2001-02. Rutgers established a 25-9 advantage in points off turnovers and out-scored Seton Hall 9-4 in the final minutes. Mack scored a game-high 15 points and had five steals in a game that featured seven ties and 12 lead changes.
Mack leads the BIG EAST in three-point field goal percentage (.451) and is second in free throw percentage (.878), while also ranking seventh in steals (1.79) and 12th in field goal percentage (.480). He is first among the league’s guards in field goal percentage.
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