TAMPA, Fla. - The idea that Clemson is at a disadvantage when the NCAA tournament's round of 64 begins Thursday has pretty much already been blown out of the water.
Thank Connecticut for that.
Two games in 36 hours? Little time to prepare? Tired legs?
Yeah, right. So what?
"After just watching UConn go through five games in five days, I think that whole [theory] that you get tired after a couple of games in a row, it's hard to look at it that way anymore,'' West Virginia's Cam Thoroughman said. "It just goes to show that when you get momentum and you get on a roll then good things are going to happen. Those tired legs aren't really what everyone thinks they are.''
Connecticut, of course, went into the Big East tournament on a definite down note, having lost back-to-back games to West Virginia and Notre Dame and falling out of a first-round bye. So the Huskies began playing at Madison Square Garden on Tuesday and didn't stop until they had beaten DePaul and then the Nos. 8, 1, 4 and 3 seeds - Georgetown, Pitt, Syracuse and Louisville, respectively - to win the tournament.
How that grueling stretch will affect the Huskies as they begin play in the NCAA tournament remains to be seen, but it certainly showed that there is no real disadvantage in having played a game before an opponent had started.
UConn's second win came against a Georgetown team playing its first game. The Huskies third victory was against a Pitt team making its debut. The fourth win was against a Syracuse team playing for just the second time and the fifth win came against a Louisville team playing just its third game.
Now Clemson, which beat UAB 70-52 late Tuesday night, must face a West Virginia team that has had a full seven days rest and do so after traveling from Dayton, Ohio, and cramming for what amounts to a pop quiz.