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Live from the Big East Tournament

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It’s official: The Big East will get seven teams in the Big Dance.

Louisville appears to have ended Providence’s hopes for an at-large tournament bid – and assured the Big East exactly seven bids — with a powerful 73-55 victory over the Friars.

The top-seeded Cardinals (26-5) — led by Earl Clark’s 24 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists, and Samardo Samuels’ 22 points — added a little more ammunition to their claim for a No. 1 bid. Providence turned the ball over 26 times, the most ever by the Friars (19-13) in 43 Big East Tournament games.

New York City native Rick Pitino also took a step closer to reaching the Big East title game for the first time since the Cardinals joined the conference four years ago.

Speaking of Louisville, some fans have noted that Joe Lunardi’s latest Bracketology has Pitt and Louisville both No. 1 seeds and both playing in Dayton. Is that possible, they wondered? Yes, because they are in different regions.

Remember, the first-round sites are determined mainly on geography, not seeding. Thus, any seeds get be anywhere in the opening round. Remember last year in Denver, none of the eight teams at Pepsi Center were seeded better than No. 4, including Pitt.

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