Where’s It Been? Connecticut 68, Louisville 51. This game illustrates what worries us about the Huskies. When they bring it all the way, there are only a couple of teams in America that can play with them. But all too often, despite the Huskies’ 20-1 record coming into this game, we’ve felt that they simply don’t have enough fire and focus to get up for six straight games when it counts most. Maybe tonight’s thrashing of Louisville at home is their first step in proving us wrong. This game was a total mismatch, otherwise how else to explain that UConn was 0-8 from three and still was never threatened by the Cards (winner of nine straight coming into this one). Of course the Husky defense is what has always separated their great teams from their merely good ones, and holding UL to 34% shooting (second worst of the season) while also keeping them off of the FT line, was an impressive display. Seriously, keep in mind that Louisville was favored in Vegas by 2-3 pts and UConn was coming in as the new #1 team in America – this was a Statement Win by the Huskies, and it will be interesting to see if they keep the same focus and commitment to defense the rest of the conference slate. As for Louisville, they’ve obviously come on very strong of late, but this is a seriously flawed team in its backcourt (5 pts on 2-9 FGs from the starting tandem of Sosa/Smith), and against teams with big, athletic guards who can defend, they will continue to struggle. It also didn’t help that Earl Clark laid a giant 2-16 FG egg tonight, but we really don’t think even a solid performance from him would have changed the ultimate outcome tonight.
Some Other Quick Hits.
- Davidson 89, Western Carolina 65. Stephen Curry with 26/8/8 assts in another SoCon romp.
- Wisconsin-Green Bay 75, Butler 66. Upset of the Night as UWGB pulled a half-game back of previously unbeaten Butler behind Ryan Tillema‘s 21/6. Maybe our bracketologist knew what he was talking about after all.
- Kansas 75, Baylor 65. BU is now officially in crisis mode with four straight losses, two of which were at home. Curtis Jerrells and Quincy Acy combined for a total of 8 pts on 2-14 FGs. They need to get well, fast.
What to Watch: None of the games tonight are worthy of Set Your Tivo status, but there are several worth checking out.
- #13 Purdue at Ohio State at 7 PM on ESPN and ESPN360.com: The Boilermakers are in position to take over the lead in the Big Ten with Michigan State’s recent stumble, but will need to pull off a road win against the Buckeyes who are still waiting on David Lighty to come back from injury.
- Rutgers at Georgetown at 7 PM on ESPN Full Court and ESPN360.com: The Hoyas need to start playing better pretty soon or they may find themselves on the NCAA bubble.
- Mississippi State at Kentucky at 7 PM on ESPN Full Court and ESPN360.com: Check this out for the match-up on the inside, which will feature Jarvis Varnado (4.7 BPG) against Patrick Patterson (18.5 PPG on 66.1% FG). Oh yeah, Jodie Meeks (25.5 PPG) isn’t bad either.
- Maryland at #4 UNC at 8 PM on ESPN Full Court and ESPN360.com: Will the Tar Heels top Duke’s margin of victory over the Terrapins? Will Greivis Vasquez make any more ridiculous proclamations?
- South Carolina at Florida at 9 PM on ESPN and ESPN360.com: Can they come close to the finish the last time they played?