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TheOpenThread: UConn Huskies vs. Texas Longhorns

You remember Texas don't you? They were one of the teams UConn played in last year's bizarrely-short three-game season (Villanova and West Virginia being the two others). I heard a rumor once that UConn actually played a full schedule last year, but I didn't see any proof and I don't want to. Instead, I'm just going to remember them fondly as a team that played roughly 120 minutes of worthwhile basketball. Since Texas had the bad luck to be on the business end of 40 of those minutes, I'm sure they remember the Huskies as well, and will be out for revenge today as they host UConn in Austin.

Of course, this UConn time is nothing like the one that dismantled the Longhorns this year. Maybe the best part of the above clip is at the 2:40 mark, where they point out that Kemba Walker had zero field goals and six turnovers in the first half. Walker actually did turn it around it that game (17 second-half points) but I think we all know if he takes that long to get started today, the game will already be over.

I feel a little weird about this game. On one hand, it means virtually nothing for the Huskies. Their out-of-conference resume is strong enough that a loss doesn't really hurt them (especially since they still host Tennessee in two weeks). But on the other hand, a UConn loss today will be the third in four games and a sign that the rough patch the Huskies have been in is much more serious than I hope.

As I've made clear, my main concern right now is getting Alex Oriakhi back on track. I'd be fine with a close loss if the big man can come return to the double-double form he showed earlier in the year. But that'll be a challenge today against a talented Longhorns front court.

The one thing that does have me feeling good is that the Huskies went directly to Austin after Tuesday's loss to Notre Dame. Jim Calhoun has had several distraction-free days to work with his charges and though there may be mismatches on both sides of the court, I think the biggest one is on the sidelines because Calhoun could out-coach Rick Barnes in his sleep.

The game tips at 3:30 EST. ESPN and ESPN3 have your TV coverage. This is your OpenThread. Go Huskies.