Troy Murphy watched the film from last year's lopsided loss to Connecticut over and over again. It was a dismal sight: He fouled out with 11 points and five rebounds.
"I had a bad taste in my mouth from last year's game," Murphy said. "I must have watched that film 20 times in the offseason. I wanted to play well [last night]."
Murphy did, collecting 33 points and 16 rebounds to lead the Irish to a 75-70 upset over the second-ranked Huskies in Hartford, snapping Connecticut's 10-game winning streak.
The 6-foot-10 sophomore matched his career high in rebounds, 12 of which came on the defensive end in the Big East opener for both teams.
Murphy's versatility confounded the Huskies, who had a hard time running against the Irish zone defense. Also, Murphy played all 40 minutes without a turnover.
Point guard Khalid El-Amin provided almost half of Connecticut's offense with a career-high 34 points. The Huskies (10-2) trailed nearly the entire game and shot 35.7 percent. The Irish (10-5) shot 45 percent.
"We were not in a very good 'we' mode," Huskies Coach Jim Calhoun said.
VANDERBILT 87, FLORIDA 77: Dan Langhi scored 18 of his 31 points in the first half as the host Commodores grabbed the lead early and upset the No. 6 Gators in the Southeastern Conference opener for both teams.
Florida (11-2) came in with a nine-game winning streak and had been beating opponents by an average of 30 points. But Vanderbilt (10-1), which had lost to Florida at home only once in the 1990s, made 15 of 23 three-pointers.
CINCINNATI 81, UNC CHARLOTTE 54: Pete Mickeal scored 20 points as the No. 3 Bearcats (13-1, 2-0 Conference USA) ran their home-court winning streak to 37 games.
SYRACUSE 93, RUTGERS 74: Damone Brown had 21 points and 13 rebounds, both career highs, to lead the No. 7 Orangemen (10-0) at home in the Big East opener for both teams. Etan Thomas, Syracuse's leading scorer, did not score and did not have any rebounds.
INDIANA 71, WISCONSIN 67: A.J. Guyton scored 25 points, moving from eighth place to sixth on Indiana's career scoring list, in leading the No. 10 Hoosiers (11-1) in the Big Ten opener for both teams.
MICHIGAN ST. 76, PENN ST. 63: Mateen Cleaves, who missed 10 weeks because of a broken foot, scored only eight points in his debut, but helped break open a tight game to lift the No. 11 Spartans (10-4, 1-0 Big Ten) at home.
TENNESSEE 60, SOUTH CAROLINA 52: Vincent Yarbrough scored 12 of his 18 points in the second half as the No. 15 Volunteers (13-1) won their SEC opener on the road.
OKLAHOMA ST. 125, LANGSTON 65: Brian Montonati had 28 points and 12 rebounds and Desmond Mason had 22 and 15 as the No. 16 Cowboys (11-1) tuned up for the start of Big 12 play with an easy home victory over the NAIA Lions.
LSU 78, ALABAMA 66: Freshman point guard Torris Bright scored 20 points and went 6 for 6 from the free throw line in the final 1:24 for the No. 21 Tigers (13-0, 1-0 SEC).
KENTUCKY 80, GEORGIA TECH 71: In Louisville, Tayshaun Prince had 21 points and 10 rebounds to lead the No. 25 Wildcats (9-4) to their fifth straight victory.