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March 10, 8:30 PM ET
Live from MSG

D'Arcy Maine
  (8:32 PM)

Greetings from MSG for the Conference USA Finals! Um, I mean, the Big East Championship. Cincinnati and Louisville will be battling for conference supremacy in about half-hour but in the meantime let's get this chat rolling!

Liam (Pittsburgh) [via mobile]

What are the odds for this one?

D'Arcy Maine
  (8:38 PM)

Louisville is the 2.5-point favorite heading into the game despite being the lower seed and having lost their one head-to-head matchup of the season on February 23rd. I'm expecting a close one tonight.

D'Arcy Maine
  (8:38 PM)

Before we go any further, just wanted to take a minute to acknowledge the Duke fans following along. To you I say, with my best Nelson Muntz impression, Ha-HAW. I am truly the picture of journalistic objectivity.

Treavor (Putnam,CT) [via mobile]

Let's get it out right away. Who u got winning tonight? Cincy has been tough. But the Ville is Clicking right now.

D'Arcy Maine
  (8:40 PM)

Nice to have you back with us, Treavor! I really do think this will be a close one down the stretch but I give the Cardinals the edge and see them winning by 4 in regulation. Anyone else want to share their prediction with the class?

JamieP :) [via mobile]

seen any celebs yet? I rely on you for that useless information!

D'Arcy Maine
  (8:46 PM)

Um, thanks? I do pride myself on providing useless information. It's a gift, I know. Haven't seen any yet but I've also never seen a celebriy on time for anything either. I did see on Twitter that Eagles TE Brent Celek (a Cincy alum) is en route to cheer on his alma mater.

Tim illinois [via mobile]

I know this ain't the acc but what happened to duke today? The lost by 3 what happened to the plumlees?

D'Arcy Maine
  (8:54 PM)

More than welcome to talk about today's other conference action in this chat, Tim. Duke put together a late rally today and nearly stole this one away from FSU but they just weren't quite good enough. Florida State is a good team though and beat Duke in their first meeting of the season as well. According to Joe Lunardi, Duke still looks to be good for a No. 2 seed so I don't think there's too much cause for alarm. Just another day of rest.

Rama [via mobile]

I rely on you for useful info!! MVP is back! I'm so ready for oh you yancy huh! And Peyton "too bad it's not manning" siva!

D'Arcy Maine
  (8:56 PM)

(Said in my best Pauly D voice) Champ is here! Wouldn't be right to not have you here tonight, Rama. I like what you did to Peyton Siva's name there. Although by the way the last few days have gone, I'm almost surprised Manning wasn't recruited by a college basketball team too.

dillon erie pa [via mobile]

Hi D'arcy!!! its dillon from erie, pa, you know, the 14 year old sports guru, anyways, what do u think of the possibilty of drexel getting an at large bid over south florida, northwestern and seton hall?

D'Arcy Maine
  (9:00 PM)

Dillon! The most knowledgable 14-year-old in sports today. Lots of talk about Drexel today and their bubble status. This time of year there is no man I trust more than Joe Lunardi and he has them as one of his 'last four out'. He's almost always right so it's not looking too good.

Tim illinois [via mobile]

So who r suppost to be the 1 seeds and what region r they going to be in?

D'Arcy Maine
  (9:01 PM)

As of right now, Lunardi still has Kentucky, Syracuse, Kansas and North Carolina as his top seeds.

D'Arcy Maine
  (9:05 PM)

Crowd definitely seems far more subdued than normal. Definitely lacking the intensity some of the conference powerhouses fans bring. Heard that tickets that were going for $120 yesterday morning for tonight were going for as little as $20 an hour ago. I'm sure the Big East is thrilled by that development.

dillon erie pa [via mobile]

did u hear her sing????

D'Arcy Maine
  (9:07 PM)

Now THAT was a good voice, huh? Just heard she's a member of the Seton Hall dance team.

Rama [via mobile]

Can you guarantee an exciting game? I feel like this year has not disappointed!

D'Arcy Maine
  (9:08 PM)

Have watched Notre Dame the last two nights, I can't really gurantee anything anymore. I believe it will be a close one until the final buzzer but I'm certainly not making any promises...

Keith [via mobile]

Who you got? I got Cincy. Trying to finish .500 for tournament

D'Arcy Maine
  (9:09 PM)

Happy to have you back and sharing your prediction, Keith. I'm taking Louisville though, by 4. The Cards are a 2.5-point favorite.

Matt (Putnam, CT) [via mobile]

Cincy will out tough the ville, 64-59 Kilpatrick with a big game

D'Arcy Maine
  (9:11 PM)

Another vote for the Bearcats. They are the overwhelming favorite in this chat. Is that just because I picked the Cardinals? Should I take that personally?

D'Arcy Maine
  (9:12 PM)

Game is underway!

D'Arcy Maine
  (9:13 PM)

Chris Smith gets on the board first with a 3-pointer to give Louisville the early lead. So take that everyone.

JamieP :) [via mobile]

Have you heard anything from the Big East about this final matchup? What about from your company?

D'Arcy Maine
  (9:17 PM)

Remember that time you called me 'useless', Jamie? I kid, I kid. I haven't heard anything on the record about the conference's feelings about this pairing but I'm sure for ratings, attendance, buzz, etc. they aren't thrilled. If ESPN had an opinion, I'm sure I would be the last to know. But they wouldn't say anything officially either. The PC response from all parties is something like, 'we're OVERJOYED by the incredible matchup of two great teams'.

Nets1fan_ [via mobile]

will coach pitino go back to the pros if the cards do well in this years tourney?.......

D'Arcy Maine
  (9:19 PM)

I think Pitino is done with the NBA regardless of how the Cardinals perform or any other factor for that matter. As a Celtics fan I can tell you that that decision is definitely for the best for all involved. Trust me.

Kevin, MD [via mobile]

Always take a cat over a bird, Cincy wins the Ohio River Shootout

dillon erie pa [via mobile]

Cincy, 67-55

Louisville [via mobile]

I think the singing of the National Anthem at the Cincinnati vs. Louisville game tonight is/was a disgrace!! I'll dare the arrogance to crucify our National Athem. Thanks for the opportunity to speak my piece. COL (R) United States Army

D'Arcy Maine
  (9:22 PM)

Everyone is entitled to their opinion. I happened to think she was terrific but I'm sorry if everyone didn't feel the same. But, most importantly, thanks for your service, Louisville!

Medford massusetts [via mobile]

if louisville wins tonight wat seed wil they get

D'Arcy Maine
  (9:24 PM)

I would guess a No. 4 seed, Medford. Think a loss would earn them a No. 5 seed. Not a huge difference between winning and losing for either of those teams tonight in terms of seeing. Getting to this game is a bigger resume booster than the actual outcome.

Keith [via mobile]

Cincy on fire from 3

D'Arcy Maine
  (9:26 PM)

Far cry from last night, huh? Yesterday against Syracuse they were on fire from behind the arc. Today they can't buy a bucket. The Bearcats are 0-for-5 from behind the arc.

Douglas (Notre Dame) [via mobile]

Just because the Irish are out doesn't mean we've left. And we have proven the theory: There are no bad seats in the Garden.

D'Arcy Maine
  (9:28 PM)

Douglas Farmer everybody from the Notre Dame newspaper! Good to see you guys stuck around to just watch basketball tonight. Nothing like watching a game at MSG. Just make sure you get the beer with a pretzel. Worth the trek around the area.

Keith [via mobile]

And a bad looking 0-5.

D'Arcy Maine
  (9:29 PM)

I thought just saying '0-for-5' was bad enough. Can only imagine how Syracuse fans are feeling watching this.

mutley [via mobile]

Hey d'arcy im still picking UL to win the BIG EAST TOURNEY AND A 2 SEED

D'Arcy Maine
  (9:30 PM)

You've said it from the start, Mutley. I'm not sold on the No. 2 seed part but your predictions have been pretty good so far.

D'Arcy Maine
  (9:31 PM)

Feel like this needs to be said, we're on pace for a 28-24 final score. Seriously.

james (ky) [via mobile]

LOUISVILLE WINS BY 10!!! GO CARDS!!!

Kevin MD [via mobile]

I thought USF and ND were eliminated. Did they just change uniforms? This is awful.The MAC title game is better.

D'Arcy Maine
  (9:34 PM)

I find it hard to believe that anyone would choose to change into either of these uniforms on the court tonight. But, yes, this game is leaving something to be desired.

D'Arcy Maine
  (9:34 PM)

Cardinals jump out to a 12-6 lead with 8:47 to go. I'm just happy that a team might make it 20 points before halftime. Little victories.

Keith [via mobile]

Pitino back to NBA??? Red Auerbach just rolled over

D'Arcy Maine
  (9:36 PM)

Remember that time he promised the Celtics would make the playoffs in three years? That worked out well for him. And his credibility.

Randy (Cary, NC) [via mobile]

So.. that would tie the Trailblazers, right? who scored just 7 in an NBA quarter..

D'Arcy Maine
  (9:37 PM)

Is that true? Basketball might be having a worse week than Peyton Manning.

Douglas (Notre Dame) [via mobile]

You should perhaps apologize to Notre Dame. Apparently the bad basketball this week wasn't entirely their fault.

D'Arcy Maine
  (9:39 PM)

Do you think it's contagious? Is Cincy using the locker room ND used last night? Someone really needs to develop a vaccine for this.

Nathan (Rocky Top) [via mobile]

ESPN announcers talking about timeout lengths. I am officially worried for this game.

D'Arcy Maine
  (9:40 PM)

Well, they had to find something positive to say about this game. Timeout length is apparently their best bet.

james [via mobile]

Good D tonight! (for both teams)

D'Arcy Maine
  (9:41 PM)

See! There's something positive. Good defense. Exactly what everyone likes to see in a basketball game.

D'Arcy Maine
  (9:43 PM)

We've got offense! The Bearcats have scored on their last three possessions. I really didn't think I would get to write that tonight. Cardinals lead, 17-12, with 5:32 to go...

D'Arcy Maine
  (9:46 PM)

...Cincinnati still can't get anything going from three-point land. Now 0-for-8. Last night's sharpshooter Sean Kilpatrick is 0-for-3 (zero points total).

Randy (Cary, NC) [via mobile]

Cinci showing good offensive balance... 3 players are tied for leading scorer, with 4 points each. All other players tied for 2nd with 0 points.

D'Arcy Maine
  (9:47 PM)

Congrats everyone reading this, you're tied for 2nd-most points for the Bearcats tonight!

Rama [via mobile]

Man this chat is moving! I'm impressed with the turn out

D'Arcy Maine
  (9:50 PM)

Me too! Thanks everyone for being part of this tonight. Honored to spend my Saturday night with you.

Keith [via mobile]

To be clear? This is a Div. I game with scholarship players correct?

Nathan (Still in Rocky Top) [via mobile]

And the ball goes into the stands. If that's all it takes to play basketball, then sign me up.

Randy (Cary, NC) [via mobile]

If ESPN gamecast is to be believed, with 2:00 to play, Cinci is still looking for its first assist of the game. Is this a team sport?

D'Arcy Maine
  (9:55 PM)

The broadcast is (sadly) correct. The Bearcats have not recorded an assist tonight. Granted, they only have 12 points so when you look at it that way, the assist component isn't all that concerning.

JamieP :) [via mobile]

Crowd seems even more subdued now. How is it in there?

D'Arcy Maine
  (9:55 PM)

Pretty quiet, Jamie. I think fans are just going to start cheering when either team scores at this point.

D'Arcy Maine
  (9:57 PM)

Halftime. Louisville 24, Cincinnati 14. Yes, 14. This is all kinds of embarassing.

D'Arcy Maine
  (9:59 PM)

The Big East wanted to be a football conference. And now they have a football score. So there's that.

D'Arcy Maine
  (9:59 PM)

Chris Smith has 10 point for the Cardinals. Four points less than the entire Bearcats roster.

dillon erie pa [via mobile]

in the immortal words of vince lombardi "what the hell is going on out here"

james [via mobile]

if there is more than 80 points I will eat my pants

D'Arcy Maine
  (10:04 PM)

That's like saying 'if Kim Kardashian wins the presidential election'. Most idle threat ever. I don't think we're hitting a combined 60.

Douglas (Notre Dame) [via mobile]

As a fan with no responsibilities tonight, I realize this may strike a nerve of jealousy in you: Prop bet -- Does Cinci score more points tonight than I consume drinks this weekend?

D'Arcy Maine
  (10:06 PM)

Consider me very jealous. Safe to say, most people reading this have probably taken more shots this weekend than Cincinnati.

Keith [via mobile]

Not a good idea to make that bet James!

D'Arcy Maine
  (10:06 PM)

How did that hat taste, Keith?

Rama [via mobile]

Insert obligatory cheeseburger question here...

D'Arcy Maine
  (10:07 PM)

They're serving fish sticks tonight. Instead, I'm loading up on cookies. Again. I'm so healthy.

D'Arcy Maine
  (10:08 PM)

Fun fact for you: The score of the Cincy-L'Ville football game in the fall was 25-16 (Cincy).

Tim Illinois [via mobile]

Darc'y about how many of the seats are filled

D'Arcy Maine
  (10:13 PM)

I would say most of them were filled at tip-off. Would think that number will take a nose-dive when people realize there are about 342 bars within a 4-block radius that they could be frequenting.

Duffy9er [via mobile]

Is this why the big least will get ten teams in the tourney? What a joke!

D'Arcy Maine
  (10:14 PM)

This conference is still incredibly strong (for now) from top to close-to-bottom. Sorry DePaul... This week has just not reflected that in any way, shape or form.

Keith [via mobile]

Has any team ever benefited more by switching conferences than the Colorado Buffalo's?

D'Arcy Maine
  (10:15 PM)

More importantly, has a team ever picked a better year to switch conferences?

D'Arcy Maine
  (10:16 PM)

Forgot to mention that the second half started. I'm honestly hoping most of you found the Jersey Shore marathon on MTV at this point and are saving yourselves.

D'Arcy Maine
  (10:18 PM)

CASHMERE WRIGHT FOR THREEEEEEEEEEEE! The Bearcats have 20 points AND their first three of the night.

D'Arcy Maine
  (10:19 PM)

Don't call it a comeback. No, seriously. Don't. It would take them three days to close this nine-point deficit.

Keith [via mobile]

The Hangover (edited) is also on TBS.

D'Arcy Maine
  (10:20 PM)

That's seriously the closest we're going to get to a PSA in this chat. Thank you for providing that public service.

Kevin MD [via mobile]

Perhaps they should change their name from Bearcats to Bricklayers?

D'Arcy Maine
  (10:20 PM)

Or maybe instead of concerning the NCAA with a name change they could just develop a mercy rule.

Rama [via mobile]

Theres never been more excitement over an early 2nd half three pointer...

D'Arcy Maine
  (10:21 PM)

I think that's a fact. I gave them a standing ovation.

Kevin MD [via mobile]

And Superbad is on FX

D'Arcy Maine
  (10:22 PM)

If I had known so many of my favorite movies were on cable tonight, I might have called out. If someone tells me 'Old School' is on USA, I might have to fake an illness.

dillon erie pa [via mobile]

plus that 70s show is on nickelodeon, and national treasure is on 34

Ian (chicago) [via mobile]

Is there like an invisible cover over these baskets or something? Why can't either of these teams score we are at 51 Pts. COMBINED!!!!

D'Arcy Maine
  (10:26 PM)

Welcome to my week, Ian. There are no words to express my feelings on this offensive disaster. Okay, there are. I just would get fired for using them.

D'Arcy Maine
  (10:28 PM)

The Bearcats are on an inexplicable 7-0 run however.

Rama [via mobile]

Drinking game, when they say "the cover is taken off the basket" drink till you can't see. Oh did someone say it? Here we go

D'Arcy Maine
  (10:31 PM)

Another valuable public service provided by this chat.

Randy (Cary, NC) [via mobile]

You just had to say something... Now look.

D'Arcy Maine
  (10:32 PM)

Do I have to look? YOU CAN'T MAKE ME. My eyes hurt.

Keith [via mobile]

I feel like there is a lot of action in this game, but nothing is really happening.

D'Arcy Maine
  (10:33 PM)

Players are in fact running up and down the court. So there's that.

D'Arcy Maine
  (10:36 PM)

Cardinals back up 8 thanks to Peyton Siva, 11:51 to go. I'm not sure the Bearcats can score another 8 points tonight so I wouldn't be too worried, L'Ville fans.

M [via mobile]

What's the score

D'Arcy Maine
  (10:38 PM)

Louisville 34, Cincinnati 26 (11:51 to play). If you think that score is bad, you should have seen it at halftime.

Kevin MD [via mobile]

Just heard from the Bricklayers union, they said they will pass on Cincy.

D'Arcy Maine
  (10:39 PM)

Smart move on their part. They don't need that kind of negative publicity.

Keith [via mobile]

Big West Championship game has 4 minutes left in 1st half and more points on board

D'Arcy Maine
  (10:39 PM)

Sigh.

D'Arcy Maine
  (10:41 PM)

Any chance we could move Daylight Savings Time to right now and just skip the next hour of this game?

Keith [via mobile]

You attribute this to good defense or bad offense?

D'Arcy Maine
  (10:41 PM)

Option 3. The universe is against me.

Mack(plattsburgh N.Y) [via mobile]

Whos going 2 win it Cincinnati or Louisville

D'Arcy Maine
  (10:42 PM)

I think Louisville has this one. Now up 11 with momentum on their side.

D'Arcy Maine
  (10:44 PM)

Siva makes both attempts from the charity stripe. Cards up 13, 9:40ish to go.

D'Arcy Maine
  (10:47 PM)

Chris Smith for threeeeee! Pitino's crew now up 44-28. You are now free to switch over to any of the film films available on cable.

D'Arcy Maine
  (10:49 PM)

I don't know where this shooting came from but I am by no means arguing. Thank you, basketball gods. Thank you.

D'Arcy Maine
  (10:51 PM)

Sean Kilpatrick! Cincy now on a 10-2 run, down 8. Is this a real-live game?

Keith [via mobile]

Almost at 80, get ready to dine on those pants James

Randy (Cary, NC) [via mobile]

So the game isn't compelling... fine. That's all we see on the telecast. What's the most interesting thing we DON'T see? For this game, you can just tell us the most interesting thing you see, 'cause its probably not the game anyway...

D'Arcy Maine
  (10:53 PM)

Watching the mascots when they think they're out of view has been positively life changing.

D'Arcy Maine
  (10:53 PM)

PEYTON SIVA!!!

Ian (Chicago) [via mobile]

Where has this cinci team been the entire game and why weren't they playing

D'Arcy Maine
  (10:54 PM)

I'm guessing Mick Cronin is wondering that exact same thing.

D'Arcy Maine
  (10:57 PM)

Everytime I look a the broadcast, I see Peyton Siva's dad. Am I just looking at weird times or has he Rick Roll'd this game?

D'Arcy Maine
  (10:58 PM)

TV Timeout. Louisville 48, Cincinnati 42. 3:12 to go...

Tim illinois [via mobile]

I hate watching games like this... Thats y I'm going to play NBA 2k12

D'Arcy Maine
  (10:59 PM)

If you've stuck with it this long, you might as well watch the finish. It's actually starting to get good out here.

D'Arcy Maine
  (10:59 PM)

And yes, my idea of 'good' has been dramatically lowered this week.

D'Arcy Maine
  (11:01 PM)

Fun tidbit to tie this chat together: Peyton Siva and 'The Hangover' are both trending on Twitter right now.

D'Arcy Maine
  (11:03 PM)

Bearcats within 4...

D'Arcy Maine
  (11:04 PM)

Bad turnover for Cashmere Wright and Cincy right there. Could have a huge possession.

D'Arcy Maine
  (11:04 PM)

One minute! L'Ville by 4.

Randy (Cary, NC) [via mobile]

L'Ville continues to leave the door open... but Cinci just refuses to step through.

D'Arcy Maine
  (11:05 PM)

Couldn't have said it better myself.

D'Arcy Maine
  (11:06 PM)

Cincinnati is the worts FT-shooting team in the conference. As if that wasn't clear enough tonight. Jaquon Parker misses BOTH from the line. Deficit still 4.

Kevin MD [via mobile]

This better not go to OT. Johah Hill is hosting SNL.

D'Arcy Maine
  (11:07 PM)

Thankfully for everyone, Russ Smith can actually make a foul shot. Louisville now up six with 27 seconds to go.

D'Arcy Maine
  (11:09 PM)

There apparently is no sense of urgency for the Bearcats. Took way too much getting a shot off. 9.9 seconds to play.

dillon mohr [via mobile]

uhhhhhhhhh sloppy sloppy sloppy

D'Arcy Maine
  (11:11 PM)

And Louisville is your Big East champion! It wasn't pretty in any sense but they held off a late rally from Cincinnati to claim their second title in four years.

Ian (Chicago) [via mobile]

Looks like lville going to win the big east, but in reality there are no winners here

D'Arcy Maine
  (11:12 PM)

That's exactly what I wrote last night about the Notre Dame-USF game on Thursday. Still true here.

Kevin MD [via mobile]

D'Arcy, so what are you going to do to recover from being forced to watch all this ugly basketball this weekend?

D'Arcy Maine
  (11:13 PM)

Try and remember the good times I had with the Big East. Maybe create a slideshow with a Sarah McLachlan song in the background. Or just drink heavily.

Rama [via mobile]

Well as the tournament comes to an end, I just wanna thank everyone. It was a tough run, I'm sad uconn didn't pull it out but as MVP I stuck around till the end

D'Arcy Maine
  (11:14 PM)

I salute and appreciate your dedication, Rama. Your hard work should be a lesson for most of the players in this conference.

D'Arcy Maine
  (11:16 PM)

Peyton Siva wins the MVP award thanks to his 10 points, 5 asissts and 4 rebounds and made-for-TV father.

Selection Sunday [via mobile]

See you tomorrow!

D'Arcy Maine
  (11:18 PM)

My favorite day of the year. I'm convinced Daylight Savings is tonight so we get to realize Drexel's fate a full hour earlier.

Kevin MD [via mobile]

Just announced this was the lowest scoring title game ever. H I S T O R.Y

D'Arcy Maine
  (11:19 PM)

Hadn't heard that but I believe it. On the plus side, we were pacing at halftime for a 48-28 finish so it could have been worse.

Matt (Putnam, CT) [via mobile]

The chat was better than the tournament by far, keep up the good work D'Arcy!

D'Arcy Maine
  (11:27 PM)

Thanks Matt! And thanks to everyone for being a part of this all week long. Your witty commentary has kept me sane this week. I'll be back later in the week from a to-be-determined tournament site covering the first two rounds. If you have an opinion on where I should head or just want to talk Selection Sunday tomorrow, hit me up on the Twitter kick (@darcymaine_espn). Enjoy the rest of your Saturday night and thanks for spending part of it with me!