The Villanova Wildcats travel to Gampel Pavilion in Storrs, CT as for a Martin Luther King day matinee to take on the Connecticut Huskies in one of the best BIG EAST games of the year. 'Nova is coming off of a nice comeback win over Maryland, while UConn blew out DePaul on Sunday ahead of tonight's game.
Dominic Cheek is OUT with a sprained knee, and will not make the trip to Connecticut with the rest of the team. Villanova will be reinforced by the availability of Maurice Sutton, who returns from a 1-game suspension.
In case you've been living under a rock this season, the Huskies are led by Kemba Walker, who is in a dogfight with BYU's Jimmer Fredette for National Player of the Year. Walker is averaging around 25 points a game this season, and has been electric in making UConn a Top-10 team after starting the season unranked.
'Nova will have to count with a combination of Maalik Wayns and Corey Fisher and try to slow down Walker while being careful not to let him get him into foul trouble. Villanova should have the advantage down low however, as sophomore Alex Oriakhi will be heavily depended on to deal with Antonio Pena, Mouphtaou Yarou, and the emerging Isaiah Armwood.
More coverage after The Jump.
Time: 3:30 p.m. ET
Location: Gampel Pavilion in Storrs, CT
Around The Blogosphere:
The View From Vegas:
UConn are 2 point favorites and the over/under is 141.5.
The Nova Blog's Take:
This is probably the toughest week of the season with a trip to Syracuse to follow. The odd-start time on MLK day doesn't exactly help either. We're playing one of the best players in the country who genuinely concerns me because of his incredible ability to get past the initial defender and make something happen. We cannot be overly aggressive against Kemba today.
Hopefully we can exploit the mismatches we will see down low. We need the Louisville version of Mouph to show up tonight and get some baskets down low.
I want to say I'm confident we will win this game, but it's in one of the toughest places to play in the conference, and we're coming of an emotional win on Saturday. Plus, we're playing short-handed without Dominic Cheek.
Hopefully the 'Cats can pull this out.