Heavyweights UConn, Pitt meet in Big East opener
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