Mon, 01/24/2011 - 19:29 — Raphielle Johnson
The best game in regards to the national polls would be Notre Dame visiting Pittsburgh in the first game of the Big Monday doubleheader. But a good argument can be made that the matchup between the Fighting Irish and Panthers isn't the most important game of the night. That distinction goes to Baylor visiting Kansas State in a matchup of two teams who need a win period, not just one to prop up their respective resumes.
Tue, 01/18/2011 - 08:34 — Raphielle Johnson
While games tend to have their fair share of dueling spurts and runs, few can match what was seen at the Petersen Events Center on Monday night. Pittsburgh sprinted out of the gates, scoring the first 19 points of the game with Nasir Robinson providing nine of his career-high 21 points during that stretch. But the better teams are able to answer and that's exactly what Syracuse did despite playing without leading scorer Kris Joseph (head injury), going on a 17-0 run to close to within two points with 6:03 left in the half.
Wed, 01/12/2011 - 17:22 — Raphielle Johnson
Another day, another matchup between ranked teams in the Big East as #17 Louisville (13-2, 2-0) heads northeast to take on #7 Villanova (14-1, 3-0). The question some have in regards to Rick Pitino's team is who have they beaten of consequence on the road, and with a 2-0 mark in such games a win in Philadelphia would go a long way in cementing them as a factor in the Big East race. The Cardinals want to play fast and they want to force you to play with discomfort, which more often than not results in turnovers and transition scoring opportunities for Louisville.
Tue, 01/04/2011 - 17:25 — Raphielle Johnson
Notre Dame (12-2) arrives at the final game of a three-game stretch of Top 10 (in last week's rankings) teams to open Big East play, and the fact that Mike Brey's team has the opportunity to win two say a little about the quality of his club. Tuesday night brings Connecticut (11-1) to Purcell Pavilion, and the Huskies are looking to put forth a better performance than they did in a loss at Pittsburgh as well as an overtime home win over USF.
Tue, 12/28/2010 - 08:00 — Raphielle Johnson
Despite making the quick climb through the rankings, from not being ranked in anyone's Top 25 to finding themselves in the Top 5, there were still questions about Jim Calhoun's Connecticut squad. Biggest question: how would they handle playing in a hostile environment like the Petersen Events Center? That question obviously didn't stand for the experienced Kemba Walker but the team as a whole received quite the lesson from Big East preseason favorite Pittsburgh.
Mon, 12/27/2010 - 01:17 — Raphielle Johnson
While the overall schedule for Monday is a light one Big East play opens up with a heavyweight battle in Pittsburgh. Undefeated Connecticut (10-0) plays their first true road game of the season, leaving the friendly confines of home to take on sixth-ranked Pittsburgh (12-1) in what should be a physical battle. Junior point guard Kemba Walker (26.5 ppg, 4.0 apg) has been one of the best players in America to this point in the season and no one's found the right answer in terms of how to slow him down.
Sun, 12/12/2010 - 08:17 — Raphielle Johnson
While billed as the marquee matchup in the SEC/Big East Invitational many expected #3 Pittsburgh to hold serve at the CONSOL Energy Center against #11 Tennessee, thanks in part to a neutral court crowd that would be in their favor. Although the word "upset" shouldn't be used to describe the fact that Bruce Pearl's team left with the 83-76 victory, the way in which Tennessee won the game was a surprise to say the least. The Vols, now 7-0 on the season, controlled the game throughout and led by as many as 20 before the Panthers attempted to mount a rally.
Sat, 12/11/2010 - 08:39 — Raphielle Johnson
A pair of undefeated teams will meet in the final game of the SEC/Big East Invitational as #11 Tennessee (6-0) takes on #3 Pittsburgh (10-0) at the new CONSOL Energy Center in Pittsburgh. The Volunteers, who won the NIT Season Tip-Off by beating Villanova in the title game, are actually the top ranked team in the RPI and they've done a good job so far of not allowing the issues swirling around their head coach to affect their play. Three Volunteers are averaging double figures in scoring with freshman forward Tobias Harris (16.7 ppg) and junior guard Scotty Hopson (16.3 ppg) leading the way.
Fri, 11/19/2010 - 15:20 — Raphielle Johnson
The great thing about early-season matchups the caliber of the semifinal doubleheader at Madison Square Garden is that it's a great litmus test for the teams in regards to where they are now in relation to where they'd like to be come March. All four teams in the 2K Sports Classic benefitting Coaches vs. Cancer showed off skills that should serve them well as the season wears on but they also displayed issues that must be rectified as well.