Three New England teams tip off their quests for automatic NCAA tournament bids this week, when March Madness begins in earnest with conference tournaments taking place from coast to coast.
The Connecticut Huskies begin their Big East tournament title defense on Tuesday. UConn will have to win five consecutive contests at Madison Square Garden if the Huskies hope to repeat as Big East champions in 2012.
The Boston College Eagles also begin conference tournament play this week. BC earned the No. 12 seed in the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament and tackles NC State on Thursday.
The Massachusetts Minutemen failed to earn a bye in the Atlantic 10 conference tournament and host Duquesne Tuesday night.
This week's New England college basketball TV schedule follows (all times Eastern):
Tuesday, March 6
Big East: No. 9 Connecticut Huskies vs. No. 16 DePaul Blue Demons, 12 p.m. (TV: ESPN U)
A-10: No. 8 Massachusetts Minutemen vs. No. 9 Duquesne Dukes, 7 p.m. (Radio: KIX 100.9 FM)
Thursday, March 8
ACC: No. 12 Boston College vs. No. 5 North Carolina State, 2 p.m. (ESPN U)