Notre Dame Vs. Connecticut Preview: Irish Go For 4th Big East Win

KANSAS CITY, MO - NOVEMBER 22: Eric Atkins #0 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish shoots while Nemanja Djurisic #42 of the Georgia Bulldogs tries to block during the Progressive CBE Classic consolation game on November 22, 2011 at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

Notre Dame hosts Connecticut on Saturday morning.

Notre Dame is off to a solid start to Big East play, which includes a double overtime win over Louisville on the road and a victory over the struggling Pittsburgh Panthers. Jim Calhoun's Connecticut team may lack Kemba Walker's star power this season, but they're still a tough out and they're on track to make another NCAA tournament appearance.

And as usual, the Huskies have an outstanding interior defense -- they are holding opponents to 37.5% shooting inside the three-point arc, which ranks No. 1 in the nation. In the previous nine seasons, they've ranked in the top 10 in this area eight times. That's one major challenge for the Irish, who have not been very good from three-point range this year -- if the Huskies shut down the painted area, will Notre Dame be able to hit enough jump shots to win the game? The Irish likely won't commit many turnovers on Saturday, so they'll have their opportunities.

Date & Time: Saturday, Jan. 14, 10:00 a.m. CT

TV: ESPN2

Odds: Connecticut is favored by 1-1/2 points.

For updates, stay tuned to SB Nation Chicago. For more in-depth coverage, visit Irish blog One Foot Down and The UConn Blog. For more from around college basketball, head over to SB Nation's NCAA basketball news hub.

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