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NCAA Bracket 2011 Predictions: 5 Reasons UConn Is Destined for an Early Exit

James BrownSenior Analyst IMarch 16, 2011

NCAA Bracket 2011 Predictions: 5 Reasons UConn Is Destined for an Early Exit

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    Chris Trotman/Getty Images

    The Connecticut Huskies made one of the most impressive postseason runs in college basketball history in this year's Big East tournament.

    The Huskies won five games in five nights in Madison Square Garden to become the 2011 Big East conference tournament champions.

    Due to a terrific season and the conference tournament run, the Huskies were awarded with a No. 3 seed in the NCAA tournament.

    But before you pencil in UConn as the national champions in your March Madness bracket, be very careful.

    The scenario is set for the Huskies to fail—UConn is destined for an early exit in the NCAA tournament.

Emotional Letdown

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    The Huskies did something in Madison Square Garden that had never been done before in college basketball history.

    The Huskies entered the tournament losing four of their last five games in the regular season, and they needed a spark to influence the NCAA selection committee. They did that and more by destroying the opposition on the way to a Big East title.

    They defeated four ranked opponents in a row, including the Pitt Panthers, who were the best team in the Big East and are a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament.

    It is only human nature to expect a letdown when the tournament begins, and that will lead to an early exit for the Huskies.

Tired Dogs

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    Chris Trotman/Getty Images

    The Huskies have to be tired as the NCAA tournament gets under way.

    They had to win five games in five nights to secure the Big East title and will only have four days left to prepare for the tournament. This does not include preparation for their first-round opponent.

    While four days may seem like enough rest, the Huskies have to account for travel, press conferences, tickets, game-planning and everything that comes with the Big Dance.

    Luckily for the Huskies the first game is in Washington DC, but fatigue will be another reason the Huskies will have an early exit in the NCAA tournament.

One-Man Show

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    Chris Trotman/Getty Images

    Kemba Walker is a monster on the court, and he singlehandedly carried the Huskies to a Big East championship, breaking records along the way.

    Walker is a big-time player that will make big-time plays in the NCAA tournament, but he can’t do it alone. Walker averages 23 points per game, which is 13 more than the next player on the Huskies team.

    Alex Oriakhi and Jeremy Lamb have some talent and need to put up numbers if the Huskies are going to go to the Final Four.

    Walker has had impressive games that have still ended up as losses because he attempted to do it all on his own.

    If Walker does not get any help, the Huskies will be going home early.

Path to the Final Four

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    The path to the Final Four for the Huskies is not as easy as it looks.

    Bucknell is not a bad team, and it runs a sickeningly slow motion offense that is hard to defend. Mike Muscala, the Patriot League Player of the Year, is hard to defend and will give the Huskies frontcourt fits.

    Once (if) the Huskies beat Bucknell, they will have to deal with either Cincinnati or Missouri.

    Missouri provides the biggest threat, as it can run and gun and put up big points. It doesn’t get any easier after that. Barring any major upsets, the Huskies would have to face San Diego State, Texas or Duke.

    That should concern a Huskies team that will be out of gas and overmatched.

Numbers Don’t Lie

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    Chris Trotman/Getty Images

    The Huskies are a very good team, but when it comes to numbers, the team is struggling in several categories.

    Connecticut finished eighth in the Big East in scoring margin, 11th in scoring defense, and 11th in field goal percentage. If they run into a team that can hit the three ball, the Huskies could have some trouble catching up.

    They were 11th in the Big East in three-point field goal defense and 10th in the conference in making the long shot from beyond the arc. If the Huskies run into Missouri, this could really hurt them.

    Finally, the big number is the assists. The Huskies were 13th in the Big East in assists, which just shows how one-dimensional this team can be.

    The numbers don’t lie, and the numbers suggest that the Huskies are destined for an early exit in the 2011 NCAA tournament.

     

    Matt Regaw is a B/R Featured Columnist and the founder of BookieBlitz.com, your one-stop shop for sports articles, previews and predictions. Feel free to contact Matt at mregaw@gmail.com.


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