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The Open Thread: #18 UConn vs. BC @MSG, 2K Classic Championship Round

Catch the action- 7pm on ESPN 2

David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

UConn will be taking on BC tonight in a match-up that was highly anticipated, at least by Husky fans, going into the season. Unfortunately a slow start by Boston College really stole the allure this game once had from a pure basketball perspective.

Going into the season, it looked like BC would actually present a challenge for the Huskies in the first basketball game between these two schools since 2005. They were labeled by some as a potential sleeper in the ACC and considered by others to be a budding team on the rise. That may turn out to be true, but unfortunately BC started the season with three straight losses to Providence, UMass and Toledo before beating Florida Atlantic 82-79 for their first win of the season.

The Eagles will be led by Sophomore Point Guard Olivier Hanlan, who was named ACC co-player of the week along with some freshman from Duke named Jabari. Hanlan averaged 28 points, 4 rebounds and 4 assists, and dropped 38 in the win against FAU during that week. He'll be the main driver behind the BC attack tonight along with Junior Forward Ryan Anderson.

The Huskies are coming off a solid win against BU on Sunday. While there were many positives from that game (most importantly DeAndre Daniels' first good game of the season), it is a concern that UConn wasn't able to put the game away despite mounting a formidable lead. The Huskies let the Terriers tie the game early in the second half until Shabazz went all 'Bazzy on them and keyed a run to put us up for good. After the game and going into this one, Kevin Ollie has noted the Husky's lack of a killer instinct while playing with big a lead for 2 our of their 4 wins. I'm optimistic that will not be a problem tonight.

One final note, it looks like UConn and BC have a shot at playing again next year in a neutral location as the field for 2014's Puerto Rico Tip-Off was announced, so maybe this could actually become a thing.

What to watch for:

  • Shabazz Triple Double Alert- a lot has been made of the fact that Napier is our best rebounder in addition to being the unquestioned leader of the team. The Roxbury, MA native was mostly ignored by BC during his high school recruiting and might be looking to exact revenge tonight at MSG
  • Was the BU game the start of something special for DeAndre?
  • Will we see a Niels Giffey bounce-back game?
  • Kentan Facey? What is up?
  • Can we win the rebounding battle against another team that likes to play small?