TheOpenThread: Cincinnati Bearcats vs. UConn Huskies

David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

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At the start of the season, back before we knew what the Kevin Ollie-era would bring, one of the biggest questions we had for this team was: "how are they going to react in mid-February, when the end is in sight and there is clearly nothing to play for?" Well, we've finally hit that point. We always knew that UConn was going to be able to get their energy up to take on Michigan St. or Syracuse, but the running-out-the-clock games, the last 20 percent of the schedule, that's where the challenge would lie.

That's why I think UConn is heading into tonight's game at a big of a crossroads. The unmistakable climax of their season came last Wednesday when they knocked off Syracuse, and, if we're being Aristotelian, it's hard not to see Saturday's frustrating loss to Villanova as the start of UConn's "falling action." So what do they do now? Cincinnati is a good team that's struggled of late, but KenPom still has them at 25, so they're not going to be a pushover. A win for UConn virtually guarantees a 20-win season (they'll have 18 with games left against DePaul, USF and Providence). A loss? Well, with a loss February could start to seem a whole lot longer.

The game tips off at 7 on ESPN. This is your OpenThread. Join the discussion below. Go Huskies and remember, take the stairs because escalators are for cowards.

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