Overall Rank: #61
Conference Rank: #6 Southeastern Conference
Most of the talk surrounding Connecticut's game against top-ranked Texas focused on the fact that it was a good thing the Huskies ended their three-game losing streak on Wednesday night against St. John's. Few people expected the team, currently being run by George Blaney due to Jim Calhoun's leave of absence, to beat the Longhorns despite playing on campus in front of a frenzied crowd. And about 30 seconds into the second half, when one basket was followed by yet another turnover and Texas hoop to make it 44-34, it looked like the game was definitely headed in that direction.
For SEC fans, the 2009 NBA Draft was about as exciting as watching paint dry.
The beginning of conference play can be quite an adjustment for teams, especially if you rely on players who haven't been through league play before. That may have been what happened to #14 New Mexico in San Diego, where they slowly lost control of the game in a 74-64 loss to San Diego State in the Mountain West opener for both. But the Aztecs suffered a loss during the game with Billy White going down late in the first half to a high (right) ankle sprain.
The buzz around the SEC this year was how much stronger the conference would be, top-to-bottom, with so many key players returning and new faces ready to make an instant impact. A year after getting only three teams into the NCAA Tournament, this was supposed to be a rebound year, with as many as six or seven teams competing for berths in the Big Dance.