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Big East basketball tournament 2013 schedule and bracket: Hoyas, Cardinals lead final Big East tournament

Cherish it while you still can.

USA TODAY Sports

The last Big East tournament with its current makeup starts Tuesday night in Madison Square Garden, the final edition of one of the most dramatic events in college basketball this side of the Big Dance.

The first of five rounds in the tournament kick off Tuesday with two games; the first is between the Seton Hall Pirates and the South Florida Bulls, and the second pits the Rutgers Scarlet Knights against the DePaul Blue Demons.

The top four seeds -- the No. 1 Georgetown Hoyas, No. 2 Louisville Cardinals, No. 3 Marquette Golden Eagles and No. 4 Pittsburgh Panthers -- earned byes into the quarterfinals Thursday.

The last three Big East tournament champions advanced to at least the Final Four. The West Virginia Mountaineers -- now members of the Big 12 -- lost in the national semifinals in 2010. The Connecticut Huskies, firmly on the capable shoulders of Kemba Walker, won the national championship in 2011 after winning five games in five days in Madison Square Garden. And last season, Louisville made a dramatic run to the Final Four only to be eliminated in the national semifinals by its most bitter rival, the eventual-champion Kentucky Wildcats.

SB Nation's Mark Ennis projected Georgetown and Louisville as the favorites to win the final Big East tournament as we know it.

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