TAMPA - The BIG EAST has published home and away conference opponents for the 2012-13 men's basketball season, the league office announced on June 28.
This season, the Bulls will host 2012 Final Four participant Louisville, along with five other NCAA Tournament teams, while USF's road schedule includes four Tournament teams for a total of 10 games against seven teams that ended last season at The Dance.
Each league team will play 18 conference games with a format featuring 10 opponents once and four teams twice. This year, USF will match up against Louisville, Marquette, Connecticut and Villanova both home and away.
Along with Louisville, the five other NCAA teams (with their 2012 NCAA Tournament seeds) that USF will face in Tampa are regular-season BIG EAST Champion and No. 1 seed Syracuse, No. 3 Marquette, No. 3 Georgetown, No. 7 Notre Dame and No. 9 Connecticut. The Bulls will also host Providence, DePaul and Villanova.
As always in the BIG EAST Conference, USF will have a grueling road schedule with matchups against No. 3 Marquette, No. 4 Louisville, No. 6 Cincinnati and No. 9 Connecticut. Cincinnati and Marquette both reached the Sweet 16. The Bulls also face Rutgers, St. John’s and Villanova on the road in 2012-13.
This season, each BIG EAST Conference team plays nine or 10 of its 18 league games against NCAA tournament teams. Nearly 80 percent of the regular-season league games (107 of 135) will include at least one team that reached the NCAA Championship while 37 games (27 percent) will be between two NCAA Tournament teams from 2012.
Previously, USF's home-and-home matchups have been: 2011-12 – Villanova, Pittsburgh, Providence; 2010-11 - DePaul, Pittsburgh and Providence; 2009-10 - Cincinnati, Notre Dame and Providence; 2008-09 - Louisville, West Virginia and DePaul; 2007-08 - Rutgers, Seton Hall and Syracuse.
The full 2012-13 conference schedule will be announced at a later date. For the complete BIG EAST schedule matchups, visit www.bigeast.org.