If nothing else, the 2011 Big East Tournament is not short on excitement. For about ten minutes of UConn's game against Pittsburgh, it looked like the Huskies were ready to be written off. But a flurry of transition points and increased defensive effort have brought the Huskies all the way back. They now trail Pittsburgh 41-40 at the half.
As I mentioned, UConn got back into this game with strong transition offense. Pittsburgh is an excellent defensive team, but they aren't quite as effective when they are forced to defend the fast break. When UConn's starting center Charles Okwandu went to the bench with his third foul, UConn went small and started to use the fast break as the main source of their offense. Kemba Walker has been the focus of that transition offense, and has 13 points to lead the Huskies.
As for Pittsburgh they just went cold. They started off the first half so hot that it would have been difficult to maintain that pace. Even though they have cooled down considerably, they still finished out the first half shooting 60% from the floor. Despite Walker's outburst, Ashton Gibbs has been the best player on the floor so far today. He has 16 points on very tidy 6-7 shooting form the field.
UConn actually took the lead briefly on a Kemba Walker free throw with six seconds left, but a layup at the buzzer gave Pittsburgh the lead back before the break. It will be interesting to see how UConn responds in the second half now that they have the momentum. They are an extremely young team, and I am not sure that they will be able to keep their foot on the accelerator.
They can't afford to let Pitt regain any of their confidence in the first few minutes of the second half. If this game doesn't go down to the wire, it could be decided in the first five minutes of the second half. If I were you, I'd find a TV to watch it, but also keep checking back here for updates, of course.