Notre Dame vs UCONN preview

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Jan 25, 2012; Newark, NJ, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish guard Scott Martin (14) works against Seton Hall Pirates forward Herb Pope (15) at the Prudential Center. Notre Dame won 55-42. Mandatory Credit: Jim O

On Sunday afternoon, the men’s basketball team will take on the Huskies of UCONN. This will be the second time the Irish will face UCONN and as we all know a third game could be coming in the Big East tournament.

The Irish are 5-3 in the Big East and sit one position ahead of UCONN, who are 4-3, in the conference standings. UCONN has beaten Notre Dame once already and they are looking for the sweep on the Irish. Last time these two teams met, UCONN played outstanding in the second half, winning 67-53. 

Road Test:

Notre Dame will surely be tested Sunday. UCONN is a tough team that could easily sneak up on everybody in the Big East and NCAA Tournament. They weren’t predicted to win it all last year, but they played good basketball and have continued their ways this year.

Notre Dame’s only road wins in the Big East so far have been against Louisville and Seton Hall. UCONN is a great home team so I expect the Irish to play their slow-tempo game to quiet the crowd it make it a more manageable game.

Players to watch:

For Notre Dame, look for Eric Atkins to have a good game. Last time the Irish played the Huskies, he scored 20 points and played all 40 minutes of the game. If he steps up tomorrow, that would be huge for the Irish.

For UCONN, watch for Shabazz Napier. Napier is a sophomore guard that hurt the Irish last time they played. He is averaging over 14 points, 6 assist, and 36 minutes a game this year and expect him to do the same against Notre Dame.

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