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Clean Slate as the 'Cats Head to Hartford

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Jamelle Elliott and the Bearcats will head to Hartford tomorrow morning where they meet USF in the 1st Round of the BIG EAST Tournament on Friday at (approximately) 8:00 p.m..  This will be the second time USF and UC have met in the conference championship and the second time in as many years.  The Bulls ended the Bearcats season last year in the 2nd round.  With that said, here are some 'notebook' style thoughts as the Bearcats set for the BIG EAST Tournament. 

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REPEAT OPPONENTS: This will be the second time in five years the Bearcats have faces a repeat opponent in Hartford.  UC played Pittsburgh their first two trips to the BIG EAST Tournament, missed the tournament in 2007-08, defeated Marquette last March before losing to USF in the 2nd round. 

LITTLE CHANCE FOR OPPONENT REVENGE: All four conference team the Bearcats defeated during the regular season (St. John's, Seton Hall, Louisville and Syracuse) are on the other half of the bracket and are unlikely to see the red and black.  The only way UC plays one of those four teams would be advancing to the championship game and one of the four defeating undefeated Connecticut. 

OPPORTUNITY FOR REDEMPTION: Out of 16 regular season conference games, the Bearcats game versus USF on January 30th, may have been their worst performance of them all.  The Bearcats lost at home 64-47 and never really felt like they were in the game.  UC shot 22% in the first half, 64% from the free throw stripe and got out rebounded 40-29.  The Bearcats two leading scorers, Kahla Roudebush and Shareese Ulis, combined to go 5 for 23 from the field.  If the Bearcats can play more like they did against the Cardinals, Orange and Red Storm and less like they did versus the Bulls, they will have every opportunity to advance to 2nd round and a re-match with Rutgers. 

JE at the XL CENTER: This shouldn't come as much of a surprise, but Jamelle Elliott did very well as an assistant coach both at the XL Center in the BIG EAST Tournament.  With Elliott on staff, the Huskies were 15-2 in the conference tournament at the XL Center.  Over the course of her 16 years on staff, UConn was 32-3 in the BIG EAST Tournament. 

TIP-OFF TIME IS TENATIVE: The Bearcats and Bulls play in the second game of the second session on Friday with the tip-off tenatively scheduled for 8:00 p.m. ET.  In reality, tip will likely come closer to 8:20-8:30.  Either way, you can listen live, CLICK HERE

In the meantime, follow my updates from Hartford via Twitter: http://twitter.com/TommyG_sideline

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