(WTNH)–Take a deep breath, UConn fans. Your team is still in the NCAA Tournament field, according to a couple of highly-respected (?) bracketologists.
The Huskies (20-9, 10-6/AAC) have stumbled through one of the most up-and-down seasons in recent memory, but looked like they’d finally turned things around in wins over Tulsa and SMU a couple of weeks ago. But then, like they’ve done all year, UConn dropped a game it really couldn’t afford to lose, 75-68, to Houston at home on Sunday.
But even after that loss, ESPN’s bracket guru Joe Lunardi still has UConn in the NCAA Tournament field. The Huskies are listed as a 10-seed, and one of the last four teams safely in the field and not subject to a play-in game in Dayton. Lunardi has the UConn taking on seventh-seeded Wichita State in the first round. He did give them a downward trending arrow, though.
Lunardi also sees AAC compatriot Cincinnati (21-8, 11-5) as a 10-seed, with the Bearcats’ stock rising. Temple (18-10, 12-4) is a 12-seed, but the Owls also avoided a play-in game on Lunardi’s bracket. Tulsa (19-10, 1106) is ranked as one of the first four out, and Houston (21-8, 11-6) was not mentioned.
CBS Sports’ Jerry Palm also does ‘bracketology,’ which you would have thought would have been copyrighted by ESPN. He’s got the Huskies as a 10-seed, taking on seventh-seeded South Carolina in the first round.
Palm has Temple as an 11-seed, though safely in the field of 64. Cincinnati is relegated to an 11-seed and a play-in game on his bracket, while Tulsa is also listed as one of the first four teams out of the field, and Houston isn’t even mentioned.
All of this probably means nothing at this point, as UConn has another huge game coming up on Thursday, at SMU.
The Huskies have yet to beat the Mustangs on the road since joining the AAC, and were mauled, 73-55, in Moody Coliseum last year. After that, they’ve got Central Florida at home (only meaningful if they lose), and the AAC tournament in Orlando, where they’ll likely have to win at least one game to feel good about their NCAA hopes.
We’ll keep an eye on the (fake) brackets for you.