#3 UConn at #19 Notre Dame
It seems like every season no matter who Coach Jim Calhoun has playing for him in Connecticut, the Huskies of UConn always have a good chance of making something happen in the Big East.
This season has been tougher than most as the Big East is arguably the best Conference in college basketball with Syracuse, Pittsburgh, Georgetown and Louisville all battling for position, but besides the one loss to G-Town the UConn Huskies are flying high with championship aspirations come Tournament time.
With eight teams ranked in the Top 25 it would hard to argue that the Big East isnt the toughest Conference in college basketball, but even though the competition is extremely tough for the Huskies they have played surprisingly well with only one loss to a Conference opponent.
The next big Game for UConn in their championship campaign is another Big East head to head match up against #19 Notre Dame. In their last two meeting, which were decided by exactly six points both times, the Fighting Irish got the better of UConn in January of last year with an overtime victory. Just about a month later in February of 2008 the Huskies put Notre Dame back in their place with six point win of their own.
This seasons the outcome will not be so close in my opinion, an intriguing match up yes, but decided by six points not likely. The Huskies are the better team and could be the best team in the country atop the best Conference in college basketball when it is all said and done. The Irish on the other hand are a talented team who probably arent that intimidated by the #3 team in the country, but ultimately the Huskies will prevail with their edge in few categories.
UConn will be coming into this Big East showdown with only one loss thus far compared to Notre Dames five losses this season. Not only have the Irish let five teams get the best of them this season, but the Huskies are shooting almost 50% (49.6) from the floor and have the better defense of the two teams. As if the excellent shooting percentage werent enough the Irish are coming off two straight losses, the first loss was to Rick Pitinos #9 Louisville in overtime and the second was a lopsided loss to #8 Syracuse by 19 points. Not only were these two Conference losses devastating to Notre Dame, but a third loss in a row to a ranked opponent could result in the Irish getting knocked out of the Top 25 altogether.
With already losing three Big East match ups to ranked opponents this is a must win situation if Notre Dame wants to salvage a season in the Top 25. UConn on the other hand will be looking to improve their overall and Conference records as they make a run at a Big East title and a high seed in the NCAA Tournament. This should be a relatively easy victory for the Huskies if they play the way have been playing. UCONN -1 Over Notre Dame