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NEW YORK -- 13 seed USF and 12 seed Seton Hall will kick things off at the 2013 Big East tournament on Tuesday night. Tipoff from Madison Square Garden is slated for 7:00 and the game is being broadcasted on ESPNU.
Both teams finished the season 3-15 in the Big East. However, Seton Hall gets the higher seed due to the head-to-head matchup in which the Pirates won back on January 23rd. The Bulls lost that game by eight, 55-47, but their two leading scorers Victor Rudd and Toarlyn Fitzpatrick were held to a combined 0-12 shooting from three-point range. As a team, USF was just 3-19.
The Bulls finished the season on a strong note, winning two of their final three games against DePaul, Connecticut, and [/tm]Cincinnati[/tm]. In their overtime loss to the Bearcats, USF shot over 40-percent from the field for the third straight game. This was just the second time this season the Bulls had accomplished that.
Victor Rudd has been on fire for the Bulls. Rudd has scored in double-digits five games in a row. Over the past seven contests, Rudd has averaged 17.4 points and 8.4 rebounds. Rudd isn't the only player stepping his game up. During the team's short two game win streak, Martino Brock averaged 15.5 points and 6 rebounds a game on 63-percent shooting.
Junior Fuqaun Edwin leads the Pirates in scoring, with 16.6 points per game as well as minutes played at 31.9 a game. Another player to watch out for on the Pirates is sophomore forward Brandon Mobley. In the previous meeting between these two teams, Mobley scored 14 points off the bench on 7-8 shooting, and brought down five rebounds. It will be tough for a team who lacks an inside presence, like USF does, to contain someone the size of Mobley.
Seton Hall has lost 11 of 12 games since that win against USF, including two of three to end the regular season. This could be a case of a semi-hot team, in USF, coming across a team that has gone ice cold in Seton Hall.
The winner of this game will move on to play Syracuse on Wednesday, March 13th in the second round of the tournament.
Josh Appel is the Senior Writer for RunningtheBulls.com. He is a student broadcaster at the University of South Florida. You can contact him at Josh@RunningtheBulls.com. Follow Josh on Twitter at @JoshAppel.