If Monday's national championship game turns out to be a short night for Jake Voskuhl, it'll be a long one for the UConn Huskies.
This NCAA Tournament, like many others, has been driven by exceptional guard play. But in the championship game between the Huskies and Duke, what's inside is what counts.
In other words, UConn's hopes ride on how well Voskuhl can handle Duke's powerhouse, Elton Brand.
"I've just got to play smarter, really, and I think I just have to play solid," Voskuhl said, "because I think he's proven he can score on anybody in the country."
Indeed, Brand has been too much for everyone, averaging 17.4 points and 8.4 rebounds in the Blue Devils' five tournament games. He's also shooting better than 65 percent from the floor.
Trying to stop Brand falls on the hefty shoulder of Voskuhl, who has struggled with foul trouble throughout the tournament. Voskuhl fouled out in the Huskies' national semifinal game against Ohio State and has had 20 fouls called against him in the five games.
The strength of the big blonde from Katy, Texas, is clogging up the middle, occupying the opponent's big man and grabbing a rebound when he can. He is not much of a threat as a scorer, averaging fewer than six points a game through his career. Not to say he hasn't come up big at times: He had a career-high 17 points back in December against Michigan State.
But no one will confuse him with, say, Brand.
Luckily, at least for Voskuhl, he shouldn't be left alone against Brand. His help likely come from forward Edmund Saunders and anyone else who finds himself near Brand when he gets the ball.
And if that doesn't work, and Voskuhl is left one-on-one with Brand too often, then he could be watching the latter part of the game -- and Duke's ensuing celebration -- from the bench.