I had a rare moment of BIG EAST pride (and frankly, childhood relapse last night) when I found myself verbally pulling for the Connecticut Huskies in a crowded room last night. But who can blame me? Yes, I used to be a UConn fan. Everyone who grows up in Connecticut is. It's a right of passage.
But let's be honest with ourselves - you weren't? They went toe-to-toe with a phenomenal Michigan St. team and beat them fair and square. Kemba Walker? Holy crap. Right now he's the best player in the conference and it's not even close. UConn doesn't have much this year other than him. He's a marked man and he's STILL getting it done.
The reason why you were rooting for them was obvious - BIG EAST pride. Don't give me this ACC or Big Ten crap - we're the best conference again. We'll always be. End of story.
On to the recaps...
No. 2 Michigan State falls to unranked UConn
Kemba Walker was sensational yet again as he dropped 30 points on the Michigan St. Spartans to help his Connecticut Huskies record the stunning upset in the seminals of the Maui Invitational.
Pitt rides late surge to get past Robert Morris
Aston Gibbs scored 20 points, Brad Wanamaker scored 17, and Gary McGhee had 11 points and 12 rebounds as the Pittsburgh Panthers pulled away late to defeat the Robert Morris Colonials 74-53. Pitt led by just 5 with 11 minutes left.
La Salle Explorers 84, Providence Friars 73
Aaric Murray scored 20 points to lead the Explorers to a key road victory over the Providence Friars. 4 Explorers reached double figures on the night.
Gonzaga Bulldogs 66, Marquette Golden Eagles 63
Steven Gray scored 20 as the Gonzaga Bulldogs rebounded after a tough start to the season to beat the Marquette Golden Eagles. Jimmy Butler had 22 to lead Marquette and had a chance to tie the game, but his bid was well off the mark at the buzzer.
Rutgers Scarlet Knights 83, Norfolk St. Spartans 59
James Beatty led 5 players in double digits with 18 point as the Rutgers Scarlet Knights continued their strong start under new coach Mike Rice by beating the Norfolk St. Spartans in a Philly Hoop Group Classic affair.
South Florida Bulls 60, Liberty Flames 43
Mike Burwell scored 15 points while Ron Anderson hauled in 17 rebounds to lead the South Florida Bulls to a victory over the Liberty Flames in the 2nd round of the South Padre Island Invitational.