|Written by Michael|
Bet on NCAABIn a battle of teams at the bottom, the Big East tournament starts off on Tuesday in Madison Square Garden with a matchup between Connecticut and DePaul. Connecticut may finally have a chance to end their five-game streak of being eliminated in the first round of the tournament. They have lost their last six games total in the Big East Tourney.
Connecticut could not have asked for a better to team to play in the first round than the DePaul Blue Demons. Connecticult's 9-9 record in the conference resulted in a three-way tie, giving Connecticut the first game of the five-day tournament. The last time the Huskies won was 2004, but they are only 1-6 overall since then. They lost to St. John's in 2010.
The last time DePaul and Connecticut met in Chicago, the Huskies ran away with a 82-62 victory. The January 15 game was led by Kemba Walker, who scored 31 points. Walker is a junior and this year will likely be his last in the NCAA. He is a strong candidate for the Big East Play of the Year, and is scheduled to graduate in the summer.
The Blue Demons are 1-17 in the Big East for the second year in a row. Before that, they had an absolutely dreadful year, going 0-18 in the conference. They will be playing without rookie Cleveland Melvin, who has been out for the season with a thumb injury. He had been leading DePaul with 14.3 points per game, so his loss will more than likely be a dealbreaker for the Blue Demons.
DePaul's last success in the Big East tournament was an upset of Cincinnati in 2009, the year they went 0-18 during regular season play. The school is coming off of a 107-59 loss at Syracuse on Saturday, allowing the Orange to shoot an incredible 71.4% from the field. It is hard to see DePaul pulling out a win today.