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Pittsburgh vs. UConn


2/16/09


There are only five games left in the college basketball season for the number one UConn Huskies after their win over Seton Hall on Saturday. With only five games left and two of those games against the Pittsburgh Panthers, Jim Calhoun will have to keep the best team in the country playing at a high level in order to wrap up the Big East conference for UConn.

Earlier in the season the Panthers were on top of the countryís rankings and were looking like the team to beat in the both the Big East conference and in the country. Unfortunately, all that talk didnít last that long as they were knocked off their pedestal after Big East heavyweights Louisville and Villanova handed the Panthers their first and second losses of the season.

The Huskies on the other hand have played some very good basketball with this seasons only one loss thus far to a Georgetown team that seems to have just gotten lucky when they beat UConn.

Although Sportsbook.com has the Huskies favored by -3.5 in their first head to head match up with the Pittsburgh Panthers, UConn suffered a major blow recently when guard Jerome Dyson with what might turn out to be a season ending injury.

The Huskies have a lot of key contributors that have helped them get where they are today, but they will miss Dysonís 13.2 points a game as they finish out the season trying the win the very competitive Big East conference.

Even though the Huskies will be without Dyson to play the Panthers twice in the final five games of the season, UConn still has some dominant players in forward Jeff Adrien and up and coming center Hasheem Thabeet. With Adrienís 14 points a game and Thabeet averaging a double-double with 13 and 10 rebounds, the Huskies should be ready to take on their toughest team yet in the Panthers.

Pittsburgh has lost the national attention that they received during the first few weeks of the season, but they can still compete with the best of them. I do believe that the Huskies should beat the Panthers, but it will be a very close game that will be decided in the last five minutes of the second half.

This game will be huge for both teams as the Big East title is literally on the line. If the Panthers can upset the Huskies Monday it will set up a Big East battle for the title on March 7th in the final game of the season for the Pittsburgh. It is almost too perfect that the two great teams will meet in the final game where everything will be on the line.

UConn will have to contain both Sam Young and DeJuan Blair who are having great seasons thus far for Pittsburgh. With 15.3 points and 12.6 rebounds a game Blair is arguably one of the best forwards in college basketball right now and Young isnít far behind him by scoring a team high 17.9 points per game.


The Huskies will have their work cut out for them, the Panthers won't go down without a fight, but I donít think the Panthers can beat the Huskies with the way they are playing right now. The Moneyline might be the way to look in this game. Bet Jamaica has Uconn -160 which is the play we'll make tonight. Uconn pk, -160 over Pitt.

 

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