Commentary

Connecticut basketball keeps rolling

Updated: January 26, 2009, 3:55 PM ET
By Dick Vitale | ESPN.com

Think about what the men's and women's programs did last week. Jim Calhoun's squad beat a determined and ranked Villanova squad, then headed to South Bend, Ind. Notre Dame came into Saturday's showdown with the nation's longest home win streak at 45 games. The Irish had not lost at the Joyce Athletic and Convocation Center since 2006, when Marquette came in and won 80-72.

When it was all said and done, that streak was put to rest as the Huskies escaped with a big-time W. A.J. Price was brilliant against the Wildcats and he helped spark the victory over the Irish.

Had Notre Dame won, it would have set a Big East record for consecutive home Ws. It didn't happen for Mike Brey and his kids. The Irish were too one-dimensional with Luke Harangody carrying the workload. He simply did not get enough help from his friends.

Kyle McAlarney started with a hot hand, hitting three early trifectas. Then he went as ice-cold as the weather outside the gymnasium.

Connecticut was methodical, taking control of the tempo in the second half and it was up-and-down the court, defending and getting transition baskets.

Jeff Adrien was simply brilliant, pulling down 19 boards. Nationally, he doesn't get the kind of attention he deserves. He just helps his team get to the winner's circle. The man has 42 career-double doubles.

The women's team, ranked number one all season, had to go to Chapel Hill, North Carolina to face the number-two Tar Heels. Sylvia Hatchell's squad was unbeaten and playing on its own floor. It turned out to be blitz city, a 30-point blowout as Geno Auriemma's kids put on a brilliant show.

This club was efficient in every way possible, racing out to a big early lead and taking the crowd out of the game. Having Maya Moore, Tina Charles, Renee Montgomery and a host of other stars makes Auriemma's team the big-time favorite to cut down the nets and grab the gold trophy.

The woman's squad hasn't been challenged this season, blowing out some top-flight competition such as Oklahoma and LSU too.

The two Hall of Famers -- Mr. Calhoun and Mr. Auriemma -- just keep rolling on. Huskies basketball is something special and you know that they will be heard from during March Madness. It could be a double in Storrs, Conn.

Dick Vitale

College Basketball analyst
Dick Vitale, college basketball's top analyst and ambassador, joined ESPN during the 1979-80 season. His thorough knowledge of the game is brought forth in an enthusiastic, passionate style. Vitale also contributes columns to ESPN.com.