NEW YORK, N.Y. (March 13, 2013) – After defeating DePaul 76-57 on Tuesday night, No. 11 seed Rutgers (15-15, 5-13) advances to meet No. 6 seed Notre Dame (23-8, 11-7) in a 9 p.m. second round match-up on Wednesday at Madison Square Garden in the 2013 BIG EAST Championship Presented by American Eagle Outfitters. The Irish are ranked No. 24 in the AP poll. The winner of the contest will play No. 3 seed Marquette (23-7, 14-4) in a quarterfinals contest at 9 p.m. on Thursday. Rutgers lost to Notre Dame and Marquette in the regular season but was within a single point against both with less than two minutes to play.
The Scarlet Knights have the opportunity to win multiple games at the BIG EAST Championship for just the second time since joining the conference in 1995-96. In 1998, No. 12 seeded Rutgers defeated No. 5 seed West Virginia (72-65) and No. 13 seed Georgetown (61-60), before falling to No. 1 seed UConn (64-50) in the semifinals.
Wednesday night’s second round game will be televised live nationally in high definition on ESPN2. The Scarlet Knights are 3-0 thus far this season on “the deuce.” Sean McDonough will serve as play-by-play announcer, Bill Raftery and Jay Bilas will provide analysis, and Andy Katz will serve as courtside reporter. On the radio, the contest 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 7-13 overall record in the BIG EAST Tournament. The Scarlet Knights and Irish have met on three prior occasions in Championship play. Notre Dame earned first round victories in 2009 (61-50) and 2000 (74-62), with Rutgers capturing a first round win in 2005 (72-65). Wednesday evening’s contest marks the 33rd meeting between Rutgers and Notre Dame dating back to 1984, with the Fighting Irish holding a 19-13 advantage in victories. Earlier this season on Jan. 19, Rutgers dropped a 69-66 decision to the No. 20/20 Irish at Purcell Pavilion. The Scarlet Knights rallied back from a 13-point second half deficit to get within a single point, but Eli Carter (Paterson, N.J.) was whistled for an offensive foul in the final seconds to squelch the comeback. Carter had 20 points, while Myles Mack (Paterson, N.J.) added 12.
Rutgers is coming off its largest margin of victory in BIG EAST Championship play with the 19-point win over the Blue Demons. Redshirt junior forward Wally Judge (Washington, D.C.) had a double-double with 20 points and 10 rebounds, as the Scarlet Knights shot 61.1 percent (33-of-54) and out-rebounded DePaul by a 36-20 margin. Judge was 9-of-9 from the field to match the BIG EAST Tournament record for accuracy. Boston College’s Craig Smith in 2005 and Ricky Wright of Villanova in 2001 also shot 9-of-9. Mack, who led the BIG EAST in three-point field goal percentage this season, was 8-of-15 and 3-of-5 from behind the arc to score 19 points. Jerome Seagears (Silver Spring, Md.) shot 5-of-9 and 3-of-5 from long range to score 15 points while also grabbing seven rebounds. RU outscored DePaul by a 50-28 margin in the paint.
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