Who's No. 2?

There are three Big East Conference games scheduled for tonight. In addition to Cincinnati visiting Connecticut, St. John's is at South Florida, and Seton Hall is at Villanova.

Now take a look at the standings. Syracuse, the No. 1 team in the land and the deepest team in the nation, is 7-0 in Big East action. Cincinnati is second at 4-1. UConn is one of five teams at 4-2. Georgetown, Seton Hall, Marquette and West Virginia are the others.

Can't make sense of it? Don't feel bad.

"It's a league that makes no sense from two to 16," UConn coach Jim Calhoun said Tuesday. "There's a one, far and away, but no real two as I see it. Anybody could beat anybody in our league."

And that's why they play the games, right?

GAME CAPSULE

Cincinnati (14-4, 4-1 Big East) at No. 13 UConn (14-3, 4-2)

Date: Jan. 18, 2012

Time: 7 p.m.

Site: Gampel Pavilion, Storrs, Conn.

TV: ESPN2 (Bob Wischusen, Doug Gottlieb)

Radio: UConn Radio Network/WTIC-AM 1080 (Joe D'Ambrosio, Wayne Norman)

Series: UConn leads, 7-2. Notes: UConn has won the last two meetings. UConn leads 5-2 in Big East games and is 2-1 against the Bearcats in Connecticut.

Last meeting: UConn 69, Cincinnati 58 (March 19, 2011)

UConn won in the third round of the 2011 NCAA Tournament at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C. Kemba Walker led all scorers with 33 points. Jeremy Lamb had 14 points. Rashad Bishop led the Bearcats with 22 points and Yancy Gates.

CINCINNATI PROBABLE STARTERS

G 1 Cashmere Wright Jr. 6-0 175 10.3 ppg

G 3 Dion Dixon Sr. 6-3 195 14.1 ppg

G 23 Sean Kilpatrick So. 6-4 215 16.2 ppg

G 44 Jaquon Parker Jr. 6-3 210 9.3 ppg

F 34 Yancy Gates Sr. 6-9 260 12.3 ppg

UCONN PROBABLE STARTERS

G 13 Shabazz Napier So. 6-1 171 13.9 ppg

G 3 Jeremy Lamb So. 6-5 180 17.9 ppg

C 34 Andre Drummond Fr. 6-10 270 10.2 ppg

F 2 DeAndre Daniels Fr. 6-8 195 4.5 ppg

F 34 Alex Oriakhi Jr. 6-9 240 7.0 ppg

NOTABLE

DOUBLE-DOUBLE MAN: Andre Drummond has recorded three consecutive double-doubles – all in Big East play. He is the first UConn freshman to do that since Corny Thompson in the last five games of the 1978-79 season. The last UConn player to have three straight double-doubles was Hasheem Thabeet against Pitt, Notre Dame and Marquette in 2009.

BATTLING BEARCATS: Cincinnati is 4-1 in the Big East for the first time since joining the conference prior to the 2005-06 season. Dating back to last season, Cincinnati has won nine of its last 11 regular-season Big East games and the Bearcats have won six consecutive conference road games. Ranked teams? Not a problem. Cincinnati has won five of its last seven regular season games against ranked opponents. And the Bearcats are 9-1 since that infamous brawl and 76-53 loss to Xavier on Dec. 10.

SHORT BENCH: Unless the NCAA notifies UConn at the last moment, freshman guard Ryan Boatright will be held out of action for the second consecutive game as his eligibility is reviewed. Boatright is averaging 10.2 points and 26.4 minutes in 10 games. UConn's three-guard lineup likely would have gotten a long look against Cincinnati. Instead, Jeremy Lamb and Shabazz Napier must stay out of foul trouble.

FORWARD UPDATE:Forward Tyler Olander (heel) practiced Tuesday. Calhoun said Olander isn't 100 percent but he should get more minutes against Cincinnati than he did at Notre Dame. . . . DeAndre Daniels and Niels Giffey will continue to split time at the small forward spot, Calhoun said. Daniels twisted his right ankle in practice and limped to the sideline for a while but appeared to be fine at the end. . . Calhoun likes the way Roscoe Smith works at power forward, so he is likely to stay there for a while. … Drummond was battling a head cold in practice Tuesday. "I'm struggling," he said.

AWARDS: Cincinnati's Dion Dixon was Big East player of the week after scoring 22 point against both Georgetown and Villanova. Drummond was Big East rookie of the week for the fourth time this season. He averaged 15.0 points and 12.0 rebounds against West Virginia and Notre Dame.

TURNOVERS AND STEALS: In Big East games only, Cincinnati leads the conference in steals (11.0 per game), turnover margin (plus 9.60) and assist/turnover ratio (1.71). Cincinnati's opponents average 16.1 turnovers. UConn is averaging 13.9 turnovers.

QUOTE OF THE DAY: "We just have to win every single game for him until he comes back." – Drummond, commenting on the absence of Boatright.


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