The Verizon Center is hosting four first round games of the 2011 NCAA Tournament on Thursday that will feature some of the best teams in the Nation. You can find the schedule for Thursday's games here. We're going to preview each of the eight teams that will be playing on Thursday.
Coach: Jim Calhoun
Conference: Big East (Tournament Champion)
Record: 26-9 (9-9)
Best Player And Why: Were you expecting somebody other than Kemba Walker? He showed during every game of the Big East Tournament that he is capable of carrying the Huskies against the best teams in the Nation. He did the same during the Maui Invitational at the beginning of the year. He's a great player and shows up when it matters most.
Strength: Just for fun, I'll try to pick something other than Kemba Walker. They have tremendous size at every position other than point guard. Jeremy Lamb, Roscoe Smith, Alex Oriakhi and Charles Okwandu are all matchup problems for whomever they go against.
Weakness: Inexperience. They start two freshman and a sophomore; and Kemba Walker is only a junior. Many of their impact players off the bench are also freshman. They showed in the Big East Tournament that they aren't afraid of the big stage, but young teams don't usually do that well in the NCAA Tournament.
Starting Lineup: Kemba Walker - Jeremy Lamb - Roscoe Smith - Alek Oriakhi - Charles Okwadu
Prediction: Uconn is the No. 3 seed and faces 14th-seeded Bucknell. I think this one should be a walk in the park for the Huskies. It could be an opportunity for some of their impact players to get some serious rest, which could come in handy later in the Tournament.
If you haven't filled out your bracket yet, it's not too late! We have a printable bracket that's been updated to reflect the results of the first-four wins.