During a season in which the Connecticut Huskies were playing for nothing more than pride, they’re on the verge of yet another 20-win season, which would be the first for head coach Kevin Ollie. The Huskies travel to South Florida tonight to take on the Bulls in the second-to-last game of the season for the Huskies. For the Bulls, they’ll be in the Big East Tournament despite their pitiful 2-14 conference record.
Last time these teams met, UConn needed overtime to escape with a 69-64 win thanks to an 11-point overtime from guard Shabazz Napier.
UConn may be without the services of Napier in this one thanks to a foot injury suffered in a loss to No. 7 Georgetown. Prior to missing their last game (a loss) to Cincinnati, Napier had played in all 102 games he’s been in Storrs. Napier is the leading the Huskies in scoring and assists and is second in rebounding. Paired with Ryan Boatright, the Huskies featured one of the best backcourts in the league, if not college basketball.
Life must go on for the Huskies. They’ve lost two straight as they enter tonight’s contest against a South Florida team that just welcomed a new team to the cellar thanks to a win against DePaul–now the two are tied for last-place.
The Huskies should be able to get win No. 20 tonight but the Sun Dome is never an easy place to play, regardless how bad the Bulls are. USF’s offense averages only 59.4 points per game, so the uglier the better as far as they’re concerned. It’s hard to believe this is a team that advanced all the way to the Third Round of the NCAA Tournament a year ago. Barring a complete miracle in the Big East Tourney, they won’t make it back-to-back appearances.
And everyone already knows that UConn only has two games left thanks to an APR ban on postseason play this year–a ban that includes the conference tournament.
Connecticut is clearly the better team and should have no problem getting Ollie his first 20-win season, even without their best player.