Connecticut coach Jim Calhoun is now a member of one of college basketball's most exclusive coaching fraternities, winning his 800th game, topping Marquette. The two-time national champion coach is just the seventh Division-I men's coach to crack the 800-win mark and is just five wins from passing Eddie Sutton for sixth all time.
And as a bonus, the game meant plenty for the Huskies' March aspirations.
With the road win over Marquette, the Huskies' grip on a No. 1 seed seems even firmer.
That UConn won on the road isn't surprising, they've yet to lose away from home. But then again, Marquette had been perfect at the Bardley center. Something had to give, and it turned out to be Marquette's interior and Dominic James' ankle.
It was an obvious blow to Marquette to be without Dominic James, who went down early and was likely lost for the season. Still, the Golden Eagles hung with the Huskies most of the game. Jerel McNeal and Wesley Matthews did what they could to pick-up the slack by combining for 46 points. The problem is that it came on a combined 15-for-40 shooting to get those points. That left only 24 shot attempts for the rest of the team.
UConn just had too much for Marquette. Price was incredibly hot, scoring a career high 34 points (including eight from behind the arc). This on a team that attempts a little more than nine three-point shots per game. Hasheem Thabeet had a typically effective game with 14 points and 15 boards. The other scoring came mainly from Stanley Robinson who abused Marquette defenders mainly by driving the baseline for slams as he put in 19.
Marquette is obviously in some real trouble because of the injury to James, not because they lost to the No. 2 team in the country; they are a lot less scary with the 5-foot-8 Maurice Acker starting at guard.
UConn is now in control of winning the Big East regular season. They are tied with Louisville at the top of the conference standings, but hold the tie-breaker over the Cardinals. If they can win their last two games over Notre Dame and at Pitt they will win the conference and almost assuredly clinch a No. 1 seed for the NCAA Tournament regardless of what would happen in the Big East Tournament.