This game was a repeat of the second match up between these teams. The Bearcats managed to find a footing in the game after a slow start late in the first half. They gained a modicum of control in the second half before the offense evaporated giving UConn control of the game. The Bearcats defense asserted itself late, making the final minutes interesting, but it came too late.
The more troubling thing going forward is that in two straight games odd defensive allignments have drastically curtailed the output of Sean Kilpatrick. For UCF it was the Box and 1. UConn didn't go with a box and 1, but they did put Neils Giffey on SK. His length gave Sean fits simply getting to the basketball, and when he got it he was reticent to attack, that took away the Bearcats number 1 option. The Bearcats number 2 option has been going to Justin Jackson inside to create offense for himself or secondary looks with his passing when the inevitable double team came.
That was working pretty well when Amida Brimah got saddled with early foul trouble and had to sit for the end of the first half. But he played (relatively) clean ball in the second half and swallowed Justin Jackson whole. Brimah is one of few guys who can play JJ straight up and succeed doing it. So there were no double teams coming, and so no way to get the offense moving for UC.
Thats the bad news, the good news is that the Bearcats will not play a team that can lift that blueprint wholesale until deep in the NCAA tournament. Its obvious with three games played that the Huskies are a terrible match up for UC; and there aren't a ton of UConn like teams out there in general. That being said this match up has exposed a difficult truth about these Bearcats. There is a hard cieling with this team, and that cieling is the second weekend.