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In or out?: The quest to save face

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Just when we had this season figured out and were anxiously awaiting the unveiling of the NIT bracket, UConn has to go and beat the No. 3 team in the nation (in both polls) and top-ranked team in the conference, on the road, by nine. The nerve.

Now, instead of just waiting for the rest of the season to play out, we can resume our bubble-watching and hopes (well, more like dreams ... wild, wild dreams) of an NCAA Tournament bid.

But what, exactly, are UConn's chances of getting in? And what will they have to do from here on out?

Although we can assume that it's still going to take a lot, we asked Chris Dobbertean of SB Nation's Blogging The Bracket for his expert opinion.

Take a look at UConn's tourney profile (which we'll probably roll out after every game, unless it loses to Rutgers), as well as the take of Chris -- who was tied up with work but nice enough to give us his quick opinion -- after the jump:

UConn Huskies
Record: 15-11, 5-8 Big East (12th)
SOS: #1
RPI: #50
Big wins: vs. Texas (88-74), at Villanova (84-75)
Bad losses: at Michigan (68-63), at Providence (81-66)
Road record: 1-6
Last 12: 4-8
Scoring margin: +4.8
Games left: 5 (at Rutgers; vs. WVU, L'Ville; at Notre Dame, USF)
Chris' take: That was a huge win for the Huskies last night, as it was both over a team who I had pegged as a 1 in my Monday bracket and on the road. The key thing is going to be momentum. If UConn can build on the performance, something they couldn't really do after the Texas win, things shape up nicely for them to make a run.

After last night, all five games have to be considered winnable, especially with toughest one, West Virginia, being at home. The Huskies would get an added boost when you consider that the Rutgers contest is the only one of the five that is against a team that's out of the NCAA hunt. Not many bubble teams will have such a scheduling advantage.

Winning all five would give the Huskies 20 victories and a 10-8 mark in the conference, with a six-game winning streak and two late marquee wins. The real question is whether this UConn team is capable of putting together that kind of run.

Thanks, Chris. And make sure to check out his latest projections on, Blogging The Bracket.