NCAA Bracket 2011: Connecticut Running out of Gas in the Second Round
NCAA Bracket 2011 Could Knock The Huskies Out In The Round Of 64
The Connecticut Huskies have been on an amazing run, to say the least after winning five games in five days to win the Big East Tournament.
One has to wonder, however, how much gas the Huskies have left in the tank when they'll face Bucknell in their Second Round game Thursday. Most believe the Huskies will win this game, and they are the more talented team without a doubt.
But hold on a second here.
Bucknell has a history of slaying the Giant in the NCAAs, going back to when the Bison shocked Kansas a few years ago. Then there's the presence of Mike Muscala, who can be a dominating presence in the middle of that Bison lineup. And according to the Hartford Courant, that's going to put a lot of pressure on the Huskies and forward Alex Oriakhi.
"For example, UConn was outrebounded in five of its last six regular season games while Oriakhi disappeared for stretches," Mike Anthony of the Courant wrote today about Oriakhi. "The final three games, of which UConn lost two, he averaged 4.0 points and 4.7 rebounds. UConn is 10-1 when Oriakhi has 10-plus rebounds, 16-8 when he doesn't."
If that's the case, and Anthony notes how well Oriakhi played in the Big East Tournament, then he will have to be the key to stopping Muscala. If he can't, then the Huskies could be in trouble. Another problem could be if the Bison are able to keep Kemba Walker in check. Obviously that's easier said than done, but if they can keep his penetration to a minimum and force him to shoot from the outside, it might limit him somewhat.
That being said, the Huskies are still the favorites. Jordan Brenning and Peter Keating of ESPN.com broke down the best upsets from each region, and they did not have Bucknell ranked very high.
"Our model doesn't know whether UConn is juiced or gassed from its stunning Big East tournament run, but it sees that Connecticut doesn't generate many turnovers or defensive rebounds," Keating and Brenner wrote. "So an opponent who makes something of its possessions could be dangerous for the Huskies. While Bucknell shoots better than 40 percent from downtown, however, the Bison don't take enough 3-point shots to scare Connecticut."
They make a lot of sense, but still I can't help thinking about that Syracuse team that lost in the First Round in 2006 after its magical Big East run. Logic and common sense says the Huskies should and probably will win. But keep an eye on this one.
For more March Madness: Bleacher Report's March Madness page, where you can find a printable bracket and a guest column by Northern Colorado coach B.J. Hill
Most recent updates:
What is the duplicate article?
Why is this article offensive?
Where is this article plagiarized from?
Why is this article poorly edited?