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TheOpenThread: UConn vs. Washington

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UConn's playing the Washington Huskies tonight, and if I'm not mistaken these two teams have met before. What do you think Sean McDonough?

How about you Bill Rafferty, do you remember a UConn-Washington game of note?

Onions indeed.

The point is that when these two teams have met in the past, things have generally been pretty entertaining. It's hard to imagine a late December game matching up to the excitement of March, but this is still a quality out-of-conference matchup, and even better, it marks the start of the "good" portion of UConn's schedule, as every game after this one is a Big East matchup.

As for the actual basketball, Washington is a solid if unspectacular team. KenPom has them at 107 with the 48th best offense in the country and the 219th best defense. They're 8-4 on the season, though some of those four losses (Albany, Ohio St., Colorado St. and Nevada) are pretty rough. Their best win probably came over Seton Hall back in November and they've won four straight coming into tonight.

Matchup wise there are two people to worry about in particular. C.J. Wilcox is their best offensive player, he's averaging nearly 20 points a game and shooting above 40 percent from behind the arc. He's also a 6'5" shooting guard, and his size could create some real issues for UConn's small backcourt. Speaking of size issues, Enosch Wolf and Tyler Olander are also going to have their hands full with 7'0 Aziz N'Diaye. The big junior is nearly putting up a double-double on the season (11.8 points and 9.7 boards) and at 260 pounds is going to have plenty of weight to throw around down low. N'Diaye is joined by forward Desmond Simmons, who is grabbing eight boards a game. Wilcox may be the sexy threat, but my main concern is UConn's ability to get anything done in the paint.

The game tips at 7:30 on ESPN2, but I've post this early so people can also chat about the UConn women taking on Stanford at 4 on ESPNU. I'm at a wedding all day so I might check the thread a few times, but I doubt I'll be posting much, still, we want to invite you to talk about the games below. Go Huskies and remember, take the stairs because escalators are for cowards.