College basketball (ESPN)
4 p.m. at XL Center, Hartford
Pittsburgh +3½ at UConn (135)
To those who would rather skip the 3,000 or so ESPN televised games and cut to the chase as in March Madness, make an allowance this one time. Pitt and Connecticut have not only been the best in the Big East this year, they’ve been the best since 2001. Pitt is 212-53 and UConn 201-59 in the span. Both have been ranked No. 1 this season with the host Huskies now holding that title. The Panthers are rated No. 4. UConn at 24-1 has won 13 in a row and is 5-2 ATS in the last 7. Pitt at 23-2 has won five straight and is 6-1 ATS in the last 7.
This is only the fourth time UConn has seen a line this low. The other three times the Huskies won and covered on the road against Gonzaga, West Virginia and Notre Dame. Also Pitt is 0-13 lifetime when playing No. 1 ranked teams, including the last three against UConn. The game probably comes down to UConn’s 7-foot-2 giant Hasheem Thabeet and Pitt’s hulk DeJuan Blair. Thabeet is off a monster game against Seton Hall in which he scored 25 points, grabbed 20 rebounds and blocked nine shots.
Pitt has won all 16 of its home games by double digits. The two losses came at Louisville by 6 and Villanova by 10. UConn with Thabeet at the top of his game is even tougher. UCONN.