College Basketball: UConn at Pittsburgh - Pittsburgh Favored
53% of Bets Placed on Pittsburgh -8 | Matchup | CBB Picks
Pittsburgh has the only undefeated Big East record and is a dominant team when playing at home - except when the No. 6 Panthers have to face Connecticut.
Pittsburgh will try to extend its winning streak to seven games and pick up a rare victory over the Huskies as it hosts Connecticut on Tuesday.
Oddsmakers have made Pittsburgh -8 point spread favorites
The Panthers have won six straight since suffering consecutive losses to then-No. 7 Wisconsin and then-No. 15 Oklahoma State, their only defeats this season. Pittsburgh has won its first four conference games for the fourth time in the last six years, including a 74-69 victory over Georgetown on Saturday.
Despite allowing the Hoyas to shoot an opponent-record 60.9 percent at the Petersen Events Center, the Panthers (16-2, 4-0) countered with 59.6 percent shooting of their own to improve to 11-0 at home.
"There was a lot of media attention, a lot of hype around this game," said Panthers forward Levon Kendall, who had nine points, five assists, four rebounds, two blocks and two steals. "We know they're ranked at the top of the Big East, and the more games you win like this is big for us. Getting this win was something we were expecting to do in our home."
Pittsburgh is 75-6 all-time in the Petersen Events Center and 29-5 against Big East opponents. However, one of those five losses was to Connecticut in 2005, the last time the teams played there, and the Huskies have won three of the past five in Pittsburgh.
Overall, UConn has won 10 of the last 14 in the series, proving to be one of the most troubling teams for the Panthers, though Saturday's victory provides plenty of momentum.
"Every game in the Big East conference is important," Kendall said. "It's especially nice thought, to beat a team that you've known all along is going to be at the top of the standings for the whole season. We just have to bring the same toughness and confidence when we play UConn on Tuesday."
The Huskies (13-2, 2-2) were struggling before beating St. John's 68-59 on Saturday. UConn had lost three of four before that victory and the slump dropped the Huskies out of the Top 25 for the first time since the end of the 2002-03 season.
UConn had been ranked for 67 straight polls since the end of that year, the second-longest active consecutive streak behind Duke's 196 polls.
The Huskies ran off 11 consecutive wins - all at home - to start the season. They won their first road game of the season on Saturday after two tough performances away from home.
"It was a good win because we needed to get a win, obviously," Connecticut coach Jim Calhoun said. "It was the first one on the road for a very young team."
In its other road games, UConn shot 39.4 percent in an 91-71 loss to West Virginia on Dec. 30 and 31.6 percent in a 66-49 defeat to then-No. 14 LSU on Jan. 6. The Huskies shot 50 percent against the Red Storm and 54.5 percent (6-for-11) from 3-point range.
UConn has won six of its last eight road games against ranked teams. This is the first time in seven meetings between the Panthers and Huskies that both teams are not ranked in the Top 25.
by: Marc Young - theSpread.com - Email Us
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