After having the first two days of the Big East Tournament off, Pitt is back in action on Thursday in a noon game against UConn.
The Huskies have built some momentum in blowout victories over DePaul and Georgetown, winning by a combined 43 points. Kemba Walker continued building his resume for the Big East Tournament Most Valuable Player award on Wednesday with a 28-point performance against Georgetown. UConn will need to keep winning for Walker to have a chance at bringing home the award, but he’s off to a good start.
UConn could have a bit of a disadvantage having played over the past two days. Pitt, meanwhile, has had time to rest, but shouldn’t be too rusty as they played on Saturday in their regular season finale against Villanova.
Still, the Huskies are looking good through two games and will be a tough out for Pitt. They’ll also, no doubt, be looking to get a bit of revenge after Pitt’s big 78-63 win at the Pete in December. Walker had 31 points in that game, but was only 10-27 from the field as Pitt repeatedly forced him into tough shots. He also didn’t get much help as no other UConn player reached double figures in that game. The Panthers led from start to finish and the Huskies simply weren’t competitive.
That should change on Thursday. UConn is going to make the NCAA tournament, but a win over Pitt could go a long way to improving their seeding.
For Pitt to win on Thursday, the team should have a similar game plan as their December matchup. Walker is so good that he’s going to score points no matter what. But if the Panthers can limit UConn’s other players and force Walker to play one-on-five, the Huskies will have a difficult time with Pitt’s balanced attack.