After 14 brutal
games between some of the best in the biz, fans will
get to watch the Big East crown its champion on tonight, as the
UConn Huskies take on the Louisville Cardinals.
Walking the Walk with Kemba
Forget about the
other four guys on the court. When the UConn Huskies have the ball, it's Kemba Time.
Wasn't it just
yesterday that this young buck named Kemba Walker was stepping onto the court
for the first time in Storrs? If Walker's name hasn't been etched in stone in
Connecticut lore forever and ever, he has one more chance to really do a
tremendous deed by helping these Huskies get into the NCAA Tournament carrying
the Big East championship with them.
Walker has scored
26, 28, 24, and now 33 points in games against some of the best and brightest
that the Big East has had to offer, and it just seems as if the more he is on
the court, the better off that he plays. The Bronx native can do no wrong. Just
ask the Syracuse Orange. Walker dropped 33 points and had 12 boards, six
steals, five assists, and probably four sales of popcorn buckets to the MSG
faithful during timeouts.
The bottom line
here for UConn: For as long as Walker is upright, this team has a chance to do
some real damage.
Cardinals are Comeback Kings
The thing that the Louisville Cardinals has become known for more than anything else in the Big East
Tournament has been crushing the dreams of the teams around them. The Marquette
Golden Eagles were the upstarts that were supposed to definitively nail down
their bid into the NCAA Tournament once and for all on Thursday, and the
Redbirds crushed them. The Notre Dame Fighting Irish looked like the ink was
all set to dry on their No. 1 seed for the NCAA Tournament, and the Cards came
all the way back in the second half, forced OT, and then pulled the upset off.
The bottom line is
that Head Coach Rick Pitino has a team that can just overcome anything. It's
amazing to think that Louisville only shot 28-of-86 from the field and 7-of-31
from beyond the arc, and still found a way to win a game against a team that is
just chock full of sharpshooters.
Of course, getting
another 20+ point game out of Preston Knowles didn't hurt matters any, nor did
getting at least 14 points from three others to boot.
Stacking Up the Big East Tournament
These two foes
have only met 11 times since 2000 and just 10 times since the two have joined
in the Big East. The Huskies have failed to win four straight both from an SU
standpoint and against the NCAA basketball betting lines. Louisville holds a
7-1-1 ATS and a 6-2 SU edge in the series since the 2007 season.
These two teams
have never met up before in the Big East Tournament.
NCAA Basketball Pick
Walker has us
believing in him and believing in the Huskies. Sure, the pressure defense of
the Cards is great, but at this point in the tournament, every team is going to
be exhausted. When push comes to shove, we want Walker on our side, as we'd
rather be betting on him and rooting for him than praying that he doesn't beat
us up all by himself.