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Friday Links: Who's not excited for First Night?! Me, me, me!

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Elena Delle Donne, we hardly knew ye ... except for that time you wore a goofy balloon hat at last years First Night.

Elena Delle Donne (right), we hardly knew ye ... except for that time you wore a goofy balloon hat at last year's First Night.

Remember when First Night was fun? Me neither.

The picture of Elena Delle Donne may be a bit pixelated, but it's the only thing that cheers me up about this year's women's basketball season.

Just kidding.

I could care less about women's basketball. But since we're an equal opportunity employer here at TheUConnBlog -- and, you know ... they're pretty good -- links from the women's side, along with some good olde football and men's basketball news, are after the ...




  • Missed this one from our own Kevin Meacham yesterday, I think because it wasn't up there. It pretty much sums up Hate Week, in case you were looking for an abridged version of Meacham's posts this week.
  • Des Connor has a short notebook up, where he mentions, among other things, the importance of Rutgers playing well this weekend to the conference.
  • Notes from yesterday's conference call, most of which I touched on yesterday. Also from the Post, a matchup chart that seems better suited for tomorrow's paper.

Men's Basketball

With First Night kicking off the season tonight, lots of season outlook stories for both teams:

  • Mike Anthony breaks down six key story lines to the season in the Huskies' quest for the Final Four.
  • Tonight's festivities might be fun, but tomorrow's practice will be a killer. Have fun, Kemba.

Women's Basketball

  • John Altavilla gives some background to the season and lists the M.O. of the team, which can be summed up in this quote: "What's making us No. 1? I'd say Maya Moore, probably," Geno Auriemma said.
  • Talk of a championship is nothing new. Heather Buck will be happy with her decision to stay home after tonight.
  • Kala Greene is back after missing most of last year following an ACL tear and could be a factor in this year's title run. More on Greene here.

I know its Rutgers week, but an opportunity to show what a putz Matt Grothe is should never be overlooked.

I know it's Rutgers week, but an opportunity to show what a putz Matt Grothe is should never be overlooked.

Big East


  • Big news out of Rutgers: Noodle arm Mike Teel may be getting pulled for relatively unknown Dom Natale. So much for the comments Greg Schiano made earlier in the week about Teel being a winner. Other pre-game notes: Running back/ giant forehead Kordell Young is healthy and ready for his second start; and game preview video here;
  • The experience defensive coordinator Phil Bennett gained from playing against wishbone offenses in the '70s will be helpful for Pitt against Navy's attack, which was drawn up by the Geico caveman.
  • Dave Hickman takes a look at Auburn's QB controversy and ties it to the West Virginia next week ... sort of. Also, does the Charleston Gazette feature Google ads on this page? If so, newspapers are in harsher times than I thought.
  • BREAKING NEWS: The growhawk is back. Ironically, this was the same headline I was thinking before I stole it from the Times. Despite Greg Auman's prediction last week, George Selvie is a Lombardi semifinalist. Selvie will return for this week's game, as will a few others.
  • A former walk-on is now starting at safety for Louisville.


  • Pitt freshman point guard Travon Woodall will be filling in for Levance Fields a year earlier than coach Jamie Dixon expected with Fields out with a foot injury. If he's anything like the last few Panthers point guards, he will play 12 seasons and be hated by me.