It shows how strong the Big East is that one Top 25 team is 1/3 in the conference.
It appears unlikely Connecticut will fall to that mark given the way it has dominated Rutgers over the years.The No. 10 Huskies are 17-1 against the Scarlet Knights since Rutgers joined the Big East in 1995, and will try for a 10th straight win in the series Tuesday night in Hartford.Connecticut (12-2, 1-2) is one of five Big East teams in the top 10 nationally, but finds itself tied with Rutgers (10-5, 1-2) for 10th place early in the rugged conference. These teams are both ahead of No. 22 Georgetown, which is 1-3.The Huskies, though, lead the conference with three victories over Top 25 teams and will be confident after Saturday's 82-81 win at then-No. 12 Texas.Kemba Walker, averaging a Division I-best 25.8 points, scored 22 despite missing 19 of 27 shots. One of his baskets, though, was a 15-footer with 5 seconds left that proved to be decisive."They did a great job on Kemba and forced him in to some real tough shots," coach Jim Calhoun said. "But, coming down the stretch, Kemba Walker is Kemba Walker and he's going to make a play."The Huskies have split four games since conference play began Dec. 27, with Walker averaging 24.0 points on 34.7 percent shooting. Walker shot 51.5 percent and averaged 26.5 points during UConn's 10-0 start."He (Calhoun) just told me that I'm having a good year and to keep up my intensity each and every game," Walker said.Alex Oriakhi added 11 points and 21 rebounds. The 6-foot-9 Oriakhi is averaging 5.3 points and 5.2 rebounds in 21 career Big East games.UConn appears to have an easier task this week with matchups against lightly regarded conference foes Rutgers and DePaul. The Huskies have won their seven Big East home meetings with Rutgers by an average of 16.4 points.The last six wins in this series have all been by double digits, including a 76-58 victory Feb. 20 in which Walker had 16 points.The Scarlet Knights will try to slow down Walker after facing the second-best scorer in the conference in Saturday's 85-72 victory over Providence. Rutgers allowed Marshon Brooks to score 29 points, but limited the rest of the Friars to 25.5 percent shooting in first-year coach Mike Rice's first Big East victory."You go 1-on-1 with Marshon Brooks, you're in deep trouble," Rice said. "We always had a second defender and sometimes a third defender in his way."Jon Mitchell had 21 points and 10 boards, and Austin Johnson added 16 points in 14 minutes off the bench for Rutgers."We lost three games in a row, so we wanted to get that bad taste out our mouths," guard James Beatty said. "We wanted to show we could compete in this league, and every night you're going to have a fight on your hands when you play Rutgers."The Scarlet Knights have dropped 18 of their last 19 Big East road games. The Huskies are 8-0 at home.