Four BIG EAST teams played on their home courts Tuesday night, posting a 3-1 record. The BIG EAST is 23-2 (.920) at home so far this season.
Louisville opened the KFC Yum! Center in style with an 88-73 win over No. 16/18 Butler. The Cardinals never trailed in front of a sellout crowd of 22,723, stretching the lead to as much as 50-24 midway through the second half. Rakeem Buckles posted a double-double with a team-high 17 points and 11 rebounds to boost to Cardinals to the win.
Junior guard Scoop Jardine scored a career-high 27 points as No. 10/11 Syracuse knocked-off Butler 66-55 at the Carrier Dome. The matchup was the first round of the Legends Classic. Senior Rick Jackson notched his second double-double of the season with 10 points and a career-high 22 rebounds. The Orange trailed 28-25 at the half, but Jardine scored five unanswered points to start the second half and give Syracuse a lead they would not relinquish.
Villanova cruised to an 84-47 win over Marist at the Pavilion to improve to 2-0 on the season. The Wildcats used a 19-1 run in the first half to take control of the game, including holding Marist to 16 straight possessions without a field goal. Maalik Wayns had 17 points to lead all scorers while Dominic Cheek added 15. The game was part of the NIT Season Tip-off.
DePaul dropped a 69-64 decision at home to Western Carolina, despite a furious second-half comeback. The Blue Demons fell behind by 21 points early in the second half, but were able to come as close as five with three minutes to go after a pair of Brandon Young free throws. Young led DePaul with 16 points. The guard has scored in double-figures in each of the first two games of his career.
Wednesday’s action sees Connecticut host 2009-10 America East Champion Vermont at the XL Center at 7 p.m. on the BIG EAST Network. St. John’s plays its home-opener against Columbia at 8 p.m., while Villanova has Boston University at The Pavillion on ESPN3.com. Notre Dame also has a home matchup with Chicago St. at 7:30 p.m., while Marquette hosts Green Bay at 8 p.m. on the BIG EAST Network.