Heavy­weights UConn, Pitt meet in Big East opener

The Pak Banker - - I Nternational -

PITTS­BURGH: Back in Oc­to­ber, Con­necti­cut coach Jim Cal­houn didn't like play­ing this game so early in the sea­son. Es­pe­cially in Pitts­burgh. Or with­out an­other Big East game pre­ced­ing it.

Of course, that's back when UConn wasn't con­sid­ered to be among the Big East's five best teams, much less a Top 5 team na­tion­ally. A daz­zling start by the Huskies might make him more amenable now to play­ing such an im­por­tant con­fer­ence game be­fore New Year's Day.

No. 4 Con­necti­cut and No. 6 Pitts­burgh meet Mon­day night in the Big East's first heavy­weight matchup this sea­son, one that oc­curs even be­fore the schools' foot­ball teams play their bowl games. The 8:30 p.m. EST tip-off cre­ates a prime time matchup of teams that be­gan the sea­son with con­trast­ing ex­pec­ta­tions.

Pitt was picked to win the Big East in the pre­sea­son coaches poll, while Con­necti­cut was cho­sen 10th - a pre­dic­tion that re­flected the Huskies' 7-11 league record last sea­son. No won­der Cal­houn was testy was asked about see­ing Pitt pop up on the sched­ule as the con­fer­ence opener, rather than in the usual late-Jan­uary to midFe­bru­ary win­dow. Be­cause Big East teams play an 18-game con­fer­ence sched­ule, the tra­di­tional start to league play has been pushed up a week. -Afp

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