Questions we want answered early in the quarterfinals

469cbb91dfdfaa32eaaa5d255ff8791b

A couple questions we hope to have answered this afternoon in the quarterfinals of the Big East tournament:

Game 1: UConn vs. Pitt, noon (ESPN)

How good is this Connecticut team?

Kemba Walker can take just about anybody off the dribble with that quick first step to the basket, and he showed a fearless mid-range jump shot with a 28-point performance in yesterday’s win over Pittsburgh. The junior national Player of the Year candidate, though, is 0-4 against the Panthers and the Huskies are 0-7 against the top five teams in the Big East.

Four Panthers scored in double figures, as they shot 52 percent in a 78-63 win over UConn Dec. 27. That Huskies team is very different than the one now, as Walker was just a one-man show, taking 27 shots in that defeat.

This game figures to be won down on the blocks, where Pitt’s Gary McGhee and Nasir Robinson combined for 21 rebounds and 22 points. UConn needs its bigs, Alex Oriakhi and Roscoe Smith, to at least neutralize Pitt’s front court. If they can make a quick outlet pass and get teammates out and running like they have the last two days, UConn may be on to the semifinals.

Line: Pitt -5.5

Sheen meter: “C’mon, the guy wears corduroys.” Pitt is well balanced and let’s face it, a little boring to watch. They slowly break you down with great ball movement and outmuscle you on the glass.

Prediction: The big boys will do enough up front to make Pitt one-and-done on the offensive end, and Jeremy Lamb will make just enough big shots when the Panthers double Walker.

UConn 75, Pitt 70

Game 2: St. John’s vs. Syracuse, 2:20 (ESPN)

Can the Red Storm find a way to handle the zone?

Dwight Hardy went 4 of 15, his worst shooting performance of the season, in a 76-59 loss to Syracuse Jan. 12. Justin Brownlee wasn’t much better, going 5 of 13, bothered inside by bigs Rick Jackson and Baye Moussa Keita.

“They got a terrific zone, they’re long, they’re big,” Hardy said. “We got to find ways to get the ball in the middle and space them out and for driving lanes and short corner passes to our bigs.”

It’s what comes after they get a shot up that might hurt the Johnnies the most. Syracuse freshmen Dion Waiters and C.J. Fair have been superb running the floor the last couple weeks, and the Orange are at their best in transition. They outscored the Red Storm 12-4 on fast breaks in the first meeting, winning in a rout despite 20 turnovers.

The Orange enter the game on a Big East-best five-game winning streak, including a 107-59 pounding of DePaul – the most lopsided win in conference history. Jackson comes in with a chip on his shoulder after the Big East Defensive Player of the Year was left off the Big East first team in favor of Hardy.

Line: Syracuse -2.5

Sheen meter: “I’m still alive, which is pretty cool.” St. John’s benefited from several fortunate non-calls by the refs to survive Rutgers yesterday. It won’t be alive for much longer, though.

Prediction: Scoop Jardine will try to wreck this one for the Orange, but he’ll eventually find Jackson on the blocks over and over again. Syracuse, the only team to defeat St. John’s at the Garden this season, does it again.

Syracuse 84, St. John’s 71



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

FDNY debuts new fire simulator for blazes at…

The New York City Fire Department christened its newest, state-of-the-art, custom-built simulator at its training academy on Randall's Island Tuesday.

Local

Bronx cop saves baby who stopped breathing

A Bronx police officer is credited with saving the life of a 2-month-old baby who stopped breathing Tuesday morning. Police Officer Johnny Castillo, 38, was…

Local

Brewer celebrates Women's Equality Day with voter pledge

Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer celebrated Women’s Equality Day Tuesday by pledging to register at least five women voters before the Oct. 10 deadline. Brewer…

Local

NYPD looking for lewd D train rider

The NYPD is enlisting the public’s help to find a man they say performed a lewd act on the D train Saturday evening. The incident…

Entertainment

QUIZ: How many English words do you actually…

Are you as smart as you say you are? Are you a word nerd? Take this quick vocabulary test to find out if you're a true wordsmith. Good luck.

Television

'Pretty Little Liars' recap: Season 5, Episode 12,…

If you've wondered whether Ali and Bethany knew each other, you got an answer tonight: Yes, and in a very tangled way. But many lingering…

Entertainment

Cymbals Eat Guitars Have Everything to 'LOSE'

At its most basic level, a rock band can be thought of as a family, a group of people selflessly devoted to a cause. When…

Entertainment

"Bachelor in Paradise" recap: Episode 4, 'Week Four'

Some things are hard to watch in a “Human Centipede” sort of way. Other things in an “American History X” sort of way. Does “Bachelor…

College

When are 2014 college football playoffs? (Schedule, date,…

When and where are 2014 college football playoffs? A look at the schedule, date, TV, time for the semi-finals at championship game.

NFL

Dimitri Patterson suspended only for rest of preseason…

Dimitri Patterson ended up getting just a slap on the wrist.

Sports

Eugenie Bouchard excited for 'rowdy' fans at US…

Eugenie Bouchard is sure to endear herself to New York's tennis faithful as she tries to win her first grand slam title across the next two weeks.

MLB

MLB Power Rankings: Angels and A's still at…

MLB Power Rankings: Angels and A's still at top, Nationals climb

Wellbeing

Who is having the most orgasms?

  Single lesbians report having orgasms more often than heterosexual women but both gay and straight men still come out on top of the climax…

Home

Jonathan Adler shares his tips for a great…

Jonathan Adler took a break from boogie boarding at his beach house to tell us how to keep that Labor Day party festive.

Travel

Most popular Labor Day weekend destinations

Priceline.com released its Top 20 destinations for the end of summer, including Labor Day weekend. If you’re heading to any of these spots, expect a…

Wellbeing

Working your way to type 2 diabetes: Job…

When it comes to type 2 diabetes, a stressful job can be as risky for your health as a bad diet and no exercise. A…