The 2012 Big East Tournament is already off to a thrilling start, but the Connecticut Huskies are looking for the first major conference tournament upset when they open play Thursday afternoon. Fresh off of an overtime victory in the second round, Jim Calhoun's Huskies have a date with the top-seeded Syracuse Orange.
Connecticut made a miraculous run through the Big East tourney last season on its way to the NCAA title and is hoping for deja vu all over again this year. A big step in making that happen will take place Thursday when it tips-off against the Orange at noon on ESPN.
The Huskies showed resilience in overtaking West Virginia in overtime on Wednesday, but the Orange represent a more difficult task. On their way to earning the top seed in the Big East and a No. 2 ranking in the country, Syracuse swept the season series -- though they barely escaped Storrs, Conn., with a 71-69 victory on Feb. 25.
It's difficult to project who has the momentum heading into the game considering Connecticut is coming off of an overtime victory to keep their tournament hopes alive, but the Orange are riding a 10-game winning streak themselves. They've had plenty of players step up during their run to the Big East Tournament, but Kris Joseph was their leading scorer during the regular season with 14.1 points per game.
The Huskies were led by their backcourt in Wednesday's win as Shabazz Napier scored a game-high 26 points while Jeremy Lamb added 20 and eight rebounds. Connecticut will rely on both of those players heavily Thursday afternoon, along with freshman Andre Drummond, who scored just seven points and grabbed four rebounds in the second-round game.
The winner of Thursday afternoon's game will play the winner of the Georgetown-Cincinnati game on Friday to determine who goes advances to the tournament finals.
For complete coverage of the 2012 Big East Tournament, stay tuned to this StoryStream or visit SB Nation's dedicated NCAA basketball hub. For more on all the teams in the Big East tournament, visit Big East Coast Bias and SB Nation New York.