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Blue Demons to Face Mississippi State in SEC/BIG EAST Invitational



CHICAGO - DePaul University is scheduled to be one of eight teams to participate in the 2009 SEC/BIG EAST Invitational ESPN Regional Television (ERT) announced today. The Blue Demons face the SEC’s Mississippi State on Thursday, Dec. 10 in Tampa, Fla. The third annual event features Connecticut, DePaul, St. John’s and Syracuse from the BIG EAST against Florida, Georgia, Kentucky and Mississippi State from the SEC in two doubleheaders.

The SEC/BIG EAST Invitational, an ERT owned and operated event that features four games over two nights, will be played Dec. 9 at Madison Square Garden in New York City and Dec. 10 at Tampa’s St. Pete Times Forum. Both doubleheaders will be televised by ESPN and ESPN2. The annual event matches four teams from the BIG EAST Conference against four teams from the Southeastern Conference.

Joining the Blue Demons and Bulldogs on Thursday, Dec. 10, at St. Pete Times Forum are Florida and Syracuse. DePaul and Mississippi State open the action on ESPN2 followed by the Orange and Gators on ESPN. The Dec. 9 doubleheader features St. John’s against Georgia on ESPN2 prior to the Connecticut-Kentucky game on ESPN. Game times for all four matchups will be announced at a later date.

The Bulldogs are coming off a 23-13 campaign in 2008-09 that saw them win the SEC Tournament. Mississippi State - a No. 13 seed - lost in the first round of the NCAA Championship against fourth-seeded Washington, 71-58. MSU is making its second straight appearance in the SEC/BIG EAST Invitational following a 75-63 loss to Cincinnati at U.S. Bank Arena in Cincinnati last season.

DePaul is making its first appearance in the SEC/BIG EAST Invitational. The Blue Demons went 9-24 a year ago. The Dec. 10 contest is the second meeting between the two programs with the Blue Demons claiming a 62-60 win over the Bulldogs on Dec. 28, 1988 in New Orleans, La., at the USF&G Sugar Bowl Classic.

Tickets for the 2009 SEC/BIG EAST Invitational are expected to go on sale in early summer. For more information, visit www.bigeastsecinvitational.com.

SEC/BIG EAST Invitational BIG EAST leads 5-3

 2009  
 New York, N.Y. - Dec. 9        St. John's vs. Georgia (ESPN2)
   Connecticut vs. Kentucky (ESPN)
 Tampa, Fla. - Dec. 10  DePaul vs. Mississippi State (ESPN2)
   Syracuse vs. Florida (ESPN)
   
 2008  
 Nashville, Tenn.  Tennessee 80, Marquette 68
   Vanderbilt 71, USF 52
 Cincinnati, Ohio   Cincinnati 75, Mississippi State 63      
   Louisville 77, Mississippi 68
   
 2007  
 Philadelphia, Pa.  Villanova 68, LSU 67
   South Carolina 68, Providence 67
 Birmingham, Ala.  Georgetown 70, Alabama 60
   West Virginia 88, Auburn 59