So here we are, in the second round (screw you NCAA and your stupid naming principles, the FBS is still 1-AA and round three is still the second round) facing a conference opponent (screw you NCAA, again). The good news is that UC played UConn less than a month ago. The game was a loss but the mistakes are ultimately correctable. The biggest issue in the last match up was that UConn went crazy from three, over 50 per cent from down town. I don't anticipate that kind of shooting from deep again. Outside of Kemba Walker the Huskies aren't a good three point shooting team. Shabazz Napier and Jeremy Lamb can both get hot from deep, but you don't anticipate them doing that. If they do you shake their hands and say good game, and in the February match up both of them got hot early in the first half.
As Yancy Gates said in the post game interview after the Mizzou game the key to beating UConn isn't stopping Kemba, he is going to get his regardless, you have to start the young guys. If Kemba goes for 30 or 40 there really isn't much that can be done about it. You are going to lose that game. But if you can keep Kemba around his average that gives you a shot.
So that brings us to the biggest question of the game who does Rashad Bishop cover. In the first match up he was on Kemba, Dion Dixon was on Lamb and Cashmere Wright took Napier. Bishop limited Kemba as much as he can be limited, 16 points and a few assists but Napier and Lamb combined for 28 points, 6 boards and 8 assists. The first few minutes of this game will tell us a ton about Mick Cronin's approach. If he keeps Bishop on Lamb it will signify that he is going to take his chances with Kemba and Cash, or Dixon. The other thing I would look for is a bit of zone, not a ton of it, and certainly not exclusively but UConn has struggled with the zone for most of the year. It should be a good game, and I am pretty confident that the Bearcats can come up with the win and punch a ticket to the sweet sixteen for the first time since 2001.