The Big East Conference Tournament 2012 tips off Tuesday afternoon at Madison Square Garden, and this SB Nation New York StoryStream is the place to come for every tidbit of information. For a full schedule with results and updates of the bracket, click here.
When you have the talent and a National Championship to defend, it should be expected that a team plays with a fire and cohesiveness to try and accomplish that goal again. That hasn't been the case for the UConn men's basketball program, who enters the Big East Tournament clinging onto a NCAA Tournament at-large bid and looking for a few wins to make the March's big dance.
Head Coach: Jim Calhoun, 26th season
Calhoun has missed a lot of the season with health issues, and assistant George Blaney has taken over in the interim.
Team MVP: Jeremy Lamb, sophomore guard/forward
Lamb is one of the nation’s most talented players and is by far UConn’s best. As a sophomore, the silky-smooth Lamb averaged over 17 points a game, and he has the ability to get hot from the perimeter and take over a game. He isn’t a deadly 3-point shooter but isn’t bashful in putting up a lot of shots in hopes that he catches fire. Despite the Huskies being very talented as always, sometimes they become a little too dependent on Lamb.
Playing For: An NCAA tournament berth
If UConn loses Big East Tournament’s opener on Tuesday vs. DePaul, there will be a lot of sweaty palms at 6:00 PM ET on Sunday in Storrs.
Breakdown: Last season, UConn went on a wild ride starting with the Big East Tournament and ending with a National Title. However, that doesn’t seem like its in the cards this season. With Calhoun absent, it’s been a whirlwind season for the Huskies. After starting the year 12-1, they’ve gone just 6-11 since, finishing 18-12 overall and 8-10 in league play.
Regardless, UConn has tons of talent behind Lamb, including point guard Shabazz Napier and the big bodies of freshman Andre Drummons and junior Alex Oriakhi. The problem with UConn this year hasn’t been the amount of talent they can throw at you, it’s been the ability of the team to play together and maximize each other’s production. Napier has some games where he just gives you absolutely nothing, and the Huskies just don’t have the bench depth to overcome that. If Napier and Lamb aren’t firing on all cylinders, UConn has a tough time beating a quality opponent.
Big East Tournament Seed: No. 9, will play No. 16 DePaul Blue Demons (Noon ET).
Roster and stats:
For a SB Nation New York preview of other Big East schools, click on its respective links: Syracuse, Marquette, Notre Dame, Cincinnati, Georgetown, South Florida, Louisville, West Virginia, Connecticut, Seton Hall, Rutgers, St. John's, Pittsburgh, Villanova, Providence, DePaul.