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UConn men’s basketball climbs to No. 20 in AP Poll; Martin named to Big East Honor Roll

Two wins over Butler last week have the Huskies moving up in the Top 25.

Ian Bethune/The UConn Blog

UConn men’s basketball rose five spots in this week’s AP Top 25 Poll after two convincing wins last week over the Butler Bulldogs. The Huskies are ranked 20th and one of five Big East teams ranked in the AP Poll, something the conference has not had since February of 2020.

Auburn, who suffered its lone loss of the season at the Bahamas to the Huskies earlier this season, is ranked No. 1 for the first time in program history. UConn joins No. 14 Villanova, No. 17 Providence, No. 21 Xavier, and No. 22 Marquette in the poll this week. With two winnable games this week against a floundering Georgetown team and DePaul, the Huskies have a chance to continue to rise if they take care of business.

In addition to the AP Poll, UConn is up to No. 18 in KenPom, which ties them for their highest ranking this season. The Huskies are also one of just 13 teams in the country in the top 40 in offensive adjusted efficiency and top 25 in defensive adjusted efficiency per KenPom — a potentially good sign, as every national title team since 1997 has checked both of those boxes.

Additionally, senior guard Tyrese Martin was named to the Big East Honor Roll this week, largely due to his electric second half in the Huskies’ road win over Butler. Martin scored 25 of his career-high 27 in the final 20 minutes of the win, just barely being outscored by the entire Bulldogs team, which scored 28 in that half.

The breakout half marked a return to form for Martin, who had struggled since the Huskies returned from their COVID-19 pause. Prior to his nuclear second half against Butler, Martin scored just five points in his last 60 minutes. That all seems to be in the rearview mirror though, and Martin’s reemergence as a legitimate scoring should bode well for the Huskies as critical matchups against Villanova and other Big East title contenders approach.