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Big East Tournament 2016 schedule and bracket: Providence, Butler highlight quarterfinals

The conference tournament hits full speed on Thursday in New York.

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

The Big East Tournament hit Madison Square Garden on Wednesday, but things really get going on Thursday as the conference's top seeds play their first games of the tournament.

The marquee matchup of the day should be the No. 4 vs. No. 5 matchup between Providence and Butler. The Friars went 2-0 against the Bulldogs this season, and as we've always heard, it's difficult to beat the same team three times in one season. Providence lost six of their final 11 regular season games, but should be in the field regardless of the result on Thursday. The same goes for the Bulldogs, but they really help their case for Tournament inclusion with a win.

The top two seeds, Villanova and Xavier, shouldn't be strangers to anyone. They're third and fifth respectively in the AP Top 25 rankings, and are expected to make significant runs in the Tournament. No. 3 seed Seton Hall went 8-2 down the stretch and should be comfortably in the field as well. They take on No. 6 Creighton in the last game of the night, and should be keen to avoid an upset at the hands of the Bluejays, who need to win the conference tournament to get a bid.

The Bracket

You can see the full bracket, schedule and scores here.

Schedule (all times Eastern)

Game 3: No. 1 Villanova 81, vs. No. 8 Georgetown 67
Game 4: No. 4 Providence vs. No. 5 Butler (2:30 p.m., FS1)
Game 5: No. 2 Xavier vs. No. 7 Marquette (7 p.m., FS1)
Game 6: No. 3 Seton Hall vs. No. 6 Creighton (9:30 p.m., FS1)