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The 2015 Big East Women's Basketball Conference Tournament: First Round Preview

This afternoon at the Allstate Arena, we've got a doubleheader to start the tournament to decide who gets the league's automatic bid to the NCAA tournament.

Reid Compton-USA TODAY Sports

Today's first round action in the Big East women's basketball tournament includes YOUR Marquette Golden Eagles leading things off in the first game of a doubleheader.  Marquette might be a bit of a spoiler in the field, as they've gone 4-4 in their last eight games, including a win over #1 seed and regular season champion Seton Hall.

Both games today will be featured on the Big East Digital Network, so be sure to fire up Fox Sports Go to check it out.

Game #1: #8 Marquette (8-21, 4-14 Big East) vs #9 Providence (6-23, 3-15 Big East)

Time: 2pm Central
Audio/Visual: Add live stats to your FSGo experience.
Season Series: 1-1

In an odd bit of luck, both teams won their games this season on the road.  Providence won in Milwaukee during the first round through the conference schedule, while Marquette returned the favor in Rhode Island the second time through.  The Golden Eagles went 4-5 on that second pass through the league, so they'll be looking to add at least one more feather to their cap to close the season out on a high note.

Providence, on the other hand, needed a victory in their regular season finale to snap a nine game losing streak.  That win came against Georgetown, so it also sent the Friars to the #9 seed instead of the #10 that the Hoyas had to settle for.  Tori Rule was back in the lineup for Providence in that game, so that's something for Marquette to keep an eye on.  The senior from Minnesota missed both of the games against the Golden Eagles earlier in the season, so this will be a different Friars team than they're used to seeing.

The winner of this game will advance to Sunday's quarterfinals, where they will play #1 seed Seton Hall.

Game #2: #7 Xavier (16-13, 8-10 Big East) vs #10 Georgetown (4-26, 2-16 Big East)

Time: 4:30pm Central
Audio/Visual: Add live stats to your FSGo experience.
Season Series: Xavier won, 2-0

Xavier won two competitive games against the Hoyas.  First, it was a 63-50 win in Cincinnati back on January 16th, then in the return bout, the Musketeers came away with a 60-55 victory in Washington, D.C.  In that game, Justyce Swango scored for the Hoyas with 3:15 remaining to give her team a 2 point lead.  Xavier put the clamps on over the final three minutes, keeping Georgetown off the board while slowly assembling a 7-0 run of their own to walk out of McDonough Arena with the win.

This is a rematch of last year's 8/9 seed game.  Georgetown took the win on that day in March a year ago by a final of 56-37.  Xavier will be more than happy to take revenge and pick up their first ever Big East tournament win here.  The winner of this game will advance to play #2 seed DePaul as part of Sunday's quarterfinal quadrupleheader in Chicago.