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College hoops scoops national notebook

it didn't take long for UConn to prove everyone wrong.

With the program under an NCAA cloud and seemingly having to rebuild after losing several players to the NBA over the last couple of seasons, most thought the Huskies would struggle this season.

Not so fast. Connecticut (5-0) went from unranked to No.7 after a great weekend at the Maui Invitational. Kemba Walker, who's averaging 30 points per game, turned himself into an NBA prospect practically overnight.

BIG EAST STILL A BEAST 

With six teams ranked in the top 25, an improving St. John's squad and several other solid programs that could make a splash, the Big East is still the dominant conference in college basketball.

The Red Storm (4-1) are off to a strong start after winning the Great Alaska Shootout. Marquette (5-2) has a couple of early losses, but those setbacks came at the hands of Duke (82-77) and Gonzaga (66-63). Louisville (4-0) had a big season opening win over Butler, while Rutgers (3-2) turned a couple of heads with a win over Miami. 

No.25 Notre Dame might be the biggest surprise. The Irish are 7-0 with non-conference wins over Georgia, Wisconsin and California.

How dominant has the Big East been? The ACC and PAC-10 has one ranked team each, while the SEC has just three ranked teams. The Mountain West actually has more ranked squads (3) than the ACC and PAC-10. Go figure. 

The BIG 10 and BIG 12 each have five ranked teams.

UCONN and Ohio State women on collision course

The Connecticut women has erased all doubts. Since a nail-biting 65-64 win over Baylor, the Huskies have played lights-out basketball. Connecticut (6-0) was a unanimous No.1. It's the 47th straight week the Huskies earned a No.1 ranking. With games against South Florida, Sacred Heart and Marquette, don't expect the Huskies to have a blemish on their record anytime soon. 

But all of that could end on December 19. The Huskies travel to MSG to take on Sammy Prahalis and Ohio State. It'll be UConn's 10th game of the season. Assuming the team is still undefeated before that game, they'll be one game shy of tying the UCLA men's all-time winning streak of 88 games.

Baylor was a huge challenge for Connecticut. The Buckeyes, with their one-two punch of Prahalis and Jantel Lavender, should be just as tough. And it will be a homecoming of sorts for Prahalis, who player her high school basketball at Commack HS (Long Island).

If UConn can survive Ohio State it doesn't get any easier. Maya Moore and complany host Florida State two days later. If UConn has tied UCLA's record of 88 wins, the Seminoles will probably be itching to stop them from breaking the record.

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