Sitting in fifth-place in a top-heavy American Athletic Conference, the Connecticut Huskies have quite the Jekyll and Hyde schedule remaining. The No. 24 Huskies have eight games remaining on the regular season slate — four against teams mired near the bottom of the conference (two against South Florida) and four against the teams they’re currently chasing.
Tomorrow begins the final up-and-down stretch the Huskies face until the postseason tournament rolls around, and oddly enough, every other game has the change to be a “trap” game.
They’ll host South Florida (12-12) in a game they should win. I’m sure head coach Kevin Ollie will remind the Huskies that the Bulls are the reason Southern Methodist only has a three-game win streak and not a nine-game win streak. The Bulls, despite being a seven-point underdog, protected their home court with a 78-71 win over the ‘Stangs but are just 1-2 since then.
UConn then welcomes No. 20 Memphis to Hartford as the Tigers look to avenge the 83-73 thumping they received at the hands of the Huskies a few weeks back. Memphis has to be feeling pretty good after their comeback win over then-No. 23 Gonzaga.
A road game at a 6-16 Temple team, a home game against No. 23 SMU, a trip to sunny South Florida follow before a big matchup at home against the No. 10 Cincinnati Bearcats. They’ll wrap up their home schedule by hosting Rutgers (10-14) before heading to No. 13 Louisville for the season finale in a game that’s sure to have some postseason impact.
If you’re going to compare UConn’s remaining eight games to something, the most accurate thing would probably be a minefield. They’ve got the senior leadership that should keep them from looking ahead, but it’s easier said than done. That being said, expect the Huskies to finish strong. A 5-3 or 6-2 finish is certainly within reason especially with Mr. Clutch Shabazz Napier leading the offense. Another key cog will be the play of fifth-year senior and transfer Lasan Kromah, who’s averaged 15 points per game over his last two and just over 11 points per game through his last four games.
Overall, Connecticut should be dancing come March, but seeding all comes down to how you play late in the year. They’ll have to be mentally tough down the stretch if they expect to be treated well come Selection Sunday.