GAMBLING AND PREDICTIONS
Spread: UCONN -13
Ken Pomeroy: UCONN W, 86-69 (93% confidence)
The Friars will return to action on Saturday, January 31 versus second-ranked Connecticut at Gampel Pavilion. The Friars have posted a 26-40 mark all-time versus the Huskies. The Friars are 12-16 at home, 11-21 on the road and 3-3 on neutral courts all-time against Connecticut. The two teams first met on January 21, 1928 with Connecticut earning a 29-21 win in Storrs, Conn. Last season, the Friars earned two wins over the Huskies, including a 77-65 victory in Hartford. The Friars are 3-0 in their last three games versus UConn and 4-0 in their last four road games against the Huskies.
“I tell our kids all the time that when you come to UConn, you’ll play in a lot of big games. This is a big game,” Calhoun said. “It takes two teams for a big game, and Providence has put themselves into a big game.”
At 6-2 they’re only one game out of first place. Connecticut is 8-1 and right there, and if Connecticut wins the game, they’re probably number one in the country. So they have a lot to play for, as do the Friars.
these Friars aren’t intimidated by the names on the back of the Huskies’ jerseys, nor the by the single-digit ranking UConn carries into this afternoon’s meeting of Big East/New England rivals at Gampel Pavilion.
UCONN (AKA THE DARK SIDE)
There really was no need to ask the obligatory, ‘How is Providence doing it?’ at the Huskies’ media session today. They just have. Coincidently, the Friars (14-6, 6-2 Big East) have perhaps never been more equipped to keep this streak going than this season as they sit on the cusp of tying their best mark ever to start conference play, established during the 2000-2001 season.
By now, any UConn fan worth his salt pretty much knows the numbers: for reasons that defy logic, Providence has beaten the Huskies three straight times (including a sweep last year) and five of their last seven meetings.
Casual observers can take note of top-ranked Duke’s loss to Wake Forest and proclaim UConn the nation’s No. 1 team-in-waiting.
But there is a major obstacle that must first be cleared. And there is, among UConn players and coaches, another focus heading into the weekend. The second-ranked Huskies want to be No. 1 when it really counts — at the end of the season. Right now, they just want to beat nemesis Providence Saturday at Gampel Pavilion
Weyinmi Efejuku expects to connect with Jeff Adrien, his former Brewster Academy teammate, sometime before Saturday afternoon’s game.
They’ll have plenty to discuss, with their respective teams meeting Saturday afternoon at Gampel Pavilion in Storrs.
”It’s a little fun thing,” said Efejuku of their usual exchange. “I’m sure it will heat up a little bit more this week heading into the game.”
This time, no fighting words are needed. No brash talk necessary.
Senior A.J. Price declined to gaze into his crystal basketball Friday to predict the outcome of today’s much-anticipated game between No. 2 UConn and Big East Conference rival Providence at 4 p.m. at Gampel Pavilion.
”Can’t foresee anything this year,” Price said
Likely a win away from securing their first No. 1-national ranking in nearly three years, the Huskies (18-1, 9-1 Big East) welcome a red-hot Providence team to Gampel Pavilion today (4 p.m., MyTV9) to renew one of the teams’ more interesting — and quirky — rivalries.
There has never been any magic formula for Providence’s unlikely success over the UConn men’s basketball team over the past five years, Tim Welsh insists.
“We just played well,” said Welsh, the ex-Friar coach. “Sometimes it just happens.”
Keno Davis hasn’t been in Storrs or Hartford very often in recent years, but the Providence College basketball team has made itself right at home when playing in the Constitution State.
Providence has won four straight games when playing at UConn, be it at the XL/Hartford Civic Center or Gampel Pavilion. Davis, who trailed father, Tom, around these parts when the latter was head coach at Boston College and the former just a child, is in his first season as the Friars’ head coach.
After his team dropped a painful decision to Providence last January, UConn guard A.J. Price and forward Jeff Adrien promised plenty of payback before the rematch two months later.
Price said the game plan was to “blow them out” while Adrien was planning to “end a team’s season.” What did that trash talk lead to?
The Huskies’ third straight loss to the Friars.
Huskies look for first win against Providence since 2006