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TheOpenThread: No. 9 UConn Huskies vs. No. 1 Pittsburgh Panthers

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When you do not win a Big East Tournament game for five years, it can be easy to forget just how much fun this crazy thing is. After a very impressive defeat of Georgetown yesterday the Huskies will be playing with house money when they take the court today against No. 1 seed Pittsburgh.

At the start of the tournament, my feeling was that if UConn could beat DePaul and Georgetown and hang with Pitt, this would be a successful run for the Huskies and they look to be well on their way to accomplishing that.

UConn probably will not win today, but I won't say it is impossible either. Yesterday may not have been UConn's best win of the year, but it was in the top five and UConn played better than it had in weeks and handled Georgetown's zone as well as any they've seen this year. If UConn can play like that again, they'll have a puncher's chance. Of course, 48 hours ago, the same team was turnover-prone and looked asleep for much of a game with DePaul, so who knows.

I'll be interested to see how the two teams start today. The Huskies will be playing their third straight noon game, so they might come out and play energized because of their momentum, or, just as likely, they could look exhausted. On the other hand, Pitt will be playing its first Big East tournament game after earning one of the four double-byes. So we might see a fresh, composed and rested Panther team, or they could come out cold and rusty. The favored team has lost this game before, as UConn fans know all to well.

One final note, back when UConn was actually good in the Big East Tournament there was quite a bit of history between these two teams. In 2002, 2003 and 2004, this pair met in the championship game. UConn won in '02 and '04, thanks in part to the shot at the top of this post. They were all great games though and since the two teams have not met in MSG since, I'll be excited to see them take the floor against each other today.

The game tips from Madison Square Garden at noon. ESPN and ESPN3 have your TV coverage. This is your OpenThread. Go Huskies.