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TheOpenThread: UConn Huskies vs. Louisville Cardinals

If you're like me and were more than ready to overreact to a two-game UConn winning streak that came against teams missing a key player, I have some bad news: Gorgui Dieng is expected to play tonight, so UConn is going to have to earn this one.

Louisville is probably my least favorite Big East opponent. Their press is frustrating to play against (and UConn's lack of depth in the backcourt isn't going to help) and when they get into the halfcourt they switch to an annoying zone. If UConn struggles to break the press and continues to falter from outside-- both are real possibilities since the Cardinals have one of the top 10 defenses in the country according to Ken Pomeroy -- this could be a long night.

UConn will once again be starting their three-guard lineup, which I'm all for, and the trio will be joined by Andre Drummond and Tyler Olander, whose starting spot is a reflection of his passing skills and zone-breaking ability.

This is also game two without Jim Calhoun, the Huskies traditionally do well under George Blaney in short bursts, but the longer Calhoun is away from the team the more likely it is that everything will go to pot. Let's hope enough of Calhoun's magic influence is still with the team.

The optimist in me is staying focused on the positive attitudes on display against Seton Hall and is hoping against hope that this is the start of UConn being what we all hope they could be. The realist in me looks at Louisville and sees a talented and aggressive team that has won four in a row after a rocky start to their Big East schedule. A win would be great, especially with a road trip to Syracuse looming.

The game tips off at 7 from the KFC YUM! Center. ESPN and ESPN3 will have your tv coverage, and we'll be discussing it in the comments here. Join us. Go Huskies.