Eighth BIG EAST Tournament for Cards Louisville is making its eighth BIG EAST Tournament appearance. The Cardinals claimed the BIG EAST Championship for the second time in the last four years in 2012. Louisville has won nine of its last 11 games in the tournament and has reached the championship game three of the last four years, winning the 2009 and 2012 league titles.
After a first-round bye, the seventh-seeded Cardinals beat Seton Hall 61-45 in the second round of the event; beat No. 9 Marquette 84-71 in the quarterfinals; beat No. 23 Notre Dame 64-55 in the semifinals; and beat Cincinnati 50-44 in the championship game. Louisville has a composite 75-41 conference tournament record (10-5 BIG EAST, 13-8 Conference USA, 32-9 Metro Conference, 18-18 Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, 2-1 Ohio Valley Conference).
The Cardinals have won 17 conference tournament titles (2 BIG EAST, 2 C-USA, 11 Metro, 2 KIAC), among those the 2009 and 2012 BIG EAST titles. U of L Coach Rick Pitino has a 42-13 record in conference tournaments (11-7 BIG EAST, 8-2 Conference USA, 17-1 Southeastern, 4-1 North Atlantic, 2-2 ECAC North). Pitino has won 10 conference tournament titles (2 BIG EAST, 2 C-USA, 5 SEC, 1 North Atlantic Conf.).
Cards Seeded Second In BIG EAST Louisville will be the No. 2 seed in the BIG EAST Conference Championship to be played March 12-16 at Madison Square Garden in New York. After earning a bye in the first two rounds, the Cardinals will play their first game in the quarterfinal round of the event on Thursday, March 12 at 7 p.m. (ESPN, WHAS 840 AM) against the winner of the No. 10 St. John's vs. No. 7 Villanova game. Louisville reached the championship game of the tournament last season for the third time in four years, beating Cincinnati 50-44 to win its second title.
Pitino Successful in Conference Tournaments U of L Coach Rick Pitino has a 42-13 record in conference tournaments (11-7 BIG EAST, 8-2 Conference USA, 17-1 Southeastern, 4-1 North Atlantic, 2-2 ECAC North). Pitino's teams have won 10 conference tournament titles (2 BIG EAST, 2 C-USA, 5 SEC, 1 North Atlantic Conference), including the 2009 and 2012 BIG EAST Conference Championships.
Louisville at MSG Louisville has an all-time 27-26 record in Madison Square Garden and the Cards have won five straight there, seven of their last eight and 12 of their last 17 games there. UofL won the 1956 NIT Championship in the Garden, the 2009 and 2012 BIG EAST Championships, and the 1971 Holiday Festival. U of L is 10- 5 in the Garden for BIG EAST Tournament games, winning nine of its last 11 in the post season event.
Cards Lead in BIG EAST Wins Louisville has the most BIG EAST Conference victories over the last eight years during the regular season, since the 2005-06 season when the Cardinals first joined the BIG EAST. Louisville has a 95-45 BIG EAST record, just ahead of Syracuse and Pittsburgh (both at 92-48) in league victories during the regular season. UofL has won or finished second in the BIG EAST on four occasions, winning the league regular season title in 2009 and 2012.
A Look Back at the Big East Tournament This week the Louisville basketball team will travel to New York City to make its eighth Big East Tournament appearance at world famous Madison Square Garden. Coach Rick Pitino's team has experienced great success in the Garden, winning the Big East Championship last season for the second time in the last four years.
Here's a look back at the highlights from Louisville's past Big East Championships:
Video courtesy of WDRB's Steve Andress and Chris Collier.