The Big East's massive conference tournament kicks off Tuesday with four games between the league's bottom eight teams, but, because the league is so huge, some of these games could have NCAA Tournament implications.
That starts in the first game of the day, when the ninth-seeded Connecticut Huskies take on the 16 seed, the DePaul Blue Demons. The Huskies are the definition of a bubble team — they have a number of good wins, and a number of head-scratching losses — but without a doubt a loss to the Blue Demons, who are coming off a big win against Seton Hall in their regular-season finale, will torpedo their tournament hopes.
The Seton Hall Pirates, the 10th seed, are also on the bubble and need a victory in the tournament's opening round. They take on the Providence Friars, the 15th seed, Tuesday night, and they need to win to fulfill the predictions for them to make the tournament as one of the last at-large teams.
The other two first-round games — St. John's vs. Pitt, Rutgers vs. Villanova — don't have at-large implications, but after Kemba Walker and UConn's run in the tournament last year, it's worth paying attention to every single one of these games.
No. 9 UConn vs. No. 16 DePaul, 12 p.m. ET (ESPN2)
No. 12 St. John's vs. No. 13 Pittsburgh, 2 p.m. ET (ESPN2)
No. 10 Seton Hall vs. No. 15 Providence, 7 p.m. ET (ESPNU/ESPN3)
No. 11 Rutgers vs. No. 14 Villanova, 9 p.m. ET (ESPNU/ESPN3)