UConn is lucky that there’s such a “soft bubble” this year, because things are spiraling out of control in Storrs. The Huskies have dropped nine of their past 12 games and the three wins were against Villanova (in overtime), DePaul (last place in the Big East) and Seton Hall (which was without its leading scorer, Herb Pope).
If UConn misses the NCAA tournament, it’ll be just the third AP preseason top five team to do so since the turn of the century.
Missouri, ranked fifth in 2003-04, finished 16-14 and lost in the first round of the NIT. LSU, No. 5 in 2006-07, missed the postseason altogether. Like UConn, that LSU team — 17-15 overall and 5-11 in the conference — was coming off a Final Four appearance. Unlike UConn, though, LSU only had one legitimate pro player (Glen Davis). The Huskies seem to have at least three, maybe four.
Anyway, here’s what the Bubble Watch looks like tonight.
RECORD: 17-12 (7-10 Big East)
BEST WINS: at Notre Dame, vs. Harvard, vs. Florida State, vs. West Virginia
WORST LOSSES: at Rutgers, at Louisville (by 21), at Seton Hall, at Tennessee
EYEBALL TEST: Not good. Huskies really let one slip away against Providence. Completely negated any momentum they had from the hard-fought loss to Syracuse.
REMAINING GAMES: vs. Pittsburgh
ESPN — No. 10 seed vs. No. 7 Gonzaga (moved to Joe Lunardi’s “last eight in”)
CBS — No. 11 seed vs. No. 6 Gonzaga
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING:
CBS: Jerry Palm, as of this podcast’s posting, has UConn in the field as an 11 seed. Why? Because the profile still stacks up favorably to other fringe squad. But the Huskies aren’t a tournament team and cannot be trusted. — Matt Norlander