Six years. It has been six long years since UConn last won a Big East tournament game. UConn's leading scorer in that win (a 66-62 victory over Georgetown) was a freshman named Rudy Gay, so yeah, it's been a while. The intervening losses haven't been easy to swallow either. UConn has been McNamara'd, posterized and bblown out. Oh, and they played a game that took six overtimes to lose. You may have heard of it.
It wasn't always this way. In fact, it used to be the exact opposite. Between 1996 and 2004 UConn won the tournament five times, and only Georgetown (7) has most overall titles than UConn (6).
But somewhere along the line, UConn lost its way and they've been wandering in the Big East Tournament wilderness ever since. God willing, that will end today. I suppose, theoretically, UConn could win this tournament, but let's not kid ourselves. I'd be very happy if UConn went out with a competitive loss to Pittsburgh on Thursday, which isn't exactly setting a high bar. That would mean getting by DePaul today and taking down a Chris Wright-less Georgetown team that is in a heated three-way race with UConn and Villanova to see who can have the most disappointing end to their season.
Still, even to get to that point means beating DePaul. That should be the easiest thing in the world to do (KenPom gives us a 94 percent chance of winning), but after the last six years it should be painfully obvious that nothing in the Big East Tournament is guaranteed.
Today's game might be the start of a magical March run. It could also be a devastating loss that I will be physically unable to deal with. The most likely scenario? It'll be a closer-than-it-should-be win against a team we should crush that leads to a crushingly-mediocre March for a team we all know is capable of much more. Whatever it is, I'll be ecstatic with a win. At least until tomorrow.
The game tips at 12 at Madison Square Garden. ESPN2 and ESPN3 have your TV coverage. This is your OpenThread. Go Huskies.