Friday, January 04, 2008

In a little over 24 hours, the Huskies will take the court at Purdue, where the Boilermakers have sold over 10,000 tickets for the Sunday afternoon game.This will be a great test forUConn despite the fact the Boilermakers aren't as good as expected or as good as recent years.

With a losing record, a win over the top-ranked Huskies would do wonders for the Boilermakers and whatever postseason hopes they may have left. A win and Purdue probably needs 17 wins to get a tournament bid. A loss, and they'll need to win the Big 10. If you really think about it, that's a big margin of error.

The problem for UConn is that a loss, even to an underachieving Purdue squad, looks bad and would guarantee losing their top ranking in both the AP and USA Today polls. A win is what would be expected. Considering it is on the road at a tough locale, don't hand this win toUConn just yet. No, I'm not saying they'll lose, but I am saying this game could prove much closer than anyone suspects.

Another factor is the national television factor.

This isn't an ESPN game. This is on CBS. If my memory serves me correctly,
the only game that fell into that category last season was thenail biter at LSU. What if Brittany Hunter can't play? What if Charde Houston is more of a ghost than someone who scares the Boilermakers? What if Maya Moore gets stage fright? All these things are possible and they could happen intandem, which would be a nightmare.

That said, I don't expect any of those events to happen. I don't suspectthat Renee Montgomery is going to care who is around her, she might will the Huskies to victory. And if Tina Charles can carry over what she did to Villanova into West Lafayette, then Purdue might find itself on the wrong end of a 40-point loss.

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