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Bracketology: Huskies’ stock rising after dispatching Providence

UConn’s recent improved play has the Huskies trending towards a 4-seed.

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Ian Bethune/The UConn Blog

After being snubbed from the NCAA tournament selection committee’s top 16 reveal last week, UConn has only done good things to bolster their resume come March. The Huskies handled a Seton Hall team teetering on the bubble easily with a 64-55 win at home last Saturday and made a statement Wednesday night with a 87-69 thrashing of No. 20 Providence at Gampel Pavilion.

UConn has now won five of its last six games — the lone loss in that span came on the road to now-No. 19 Creighton — and looks to be playing a version of basketball more akin to the team that started 14-0 than the one that stumbled through the month of January. The Huskies have also crept up to No. 5 in KenPom and No. 7 in the most recent NET rankings, two key factors the committee will take into consideration come selection Sunday.

What Vegas is saying

UConn’s odds to cut down the nets in April haven’t shifted since last week, but some of the other favorites have seen some movement. According to DraftKings, UConn remains at +2000 to win the NCAA Tournament, which is now the seventh-best odds to win it all after Texas (+1800) entered the fray. Houston (+650) remains the favorite, followed by Alabama (+900) and Kansas (+950). Purdue (+1000), UCLA (+1400) and Arizona (+1400) join the Longhorns ahead of the Huskies for title odds. More NCAA Tournament winner odds can be found here.

DraftKings also likes the Huskies’ chances of reaching the Final Four, giving UConn the seventh-best odds of making it to Houston, where the Huskies won it all in 2011. UConn comes in at +450 to make the Final Four, sharing odds with Texas and Baylor. Houston remains the favorite in that front as well, at +150 to reach the Final Four in their hometown.

UConn’s NCAA Tournament Resume

Record: 21-7 overall, 10-7 Big East

KenPom ranking: No. 5 overall, No. 8 in adjusted offensive efficiency, No. 21 in adjusted defensive efficiency

NET ranking: No. 7

Quality wins (Quad 1 wins): Alabama (neutral), Iowa State (neutral), Oklahoma State (home), Florida (away), Creighton (home), Marquette (home)

Bad losses (Quad 3 or worse): St. John’s (home)

Bracketology Breakdown

Updates current as of Feb. 24

ESPN: Following the win over Providence, Joe Lunardi has UConn up to a 4-seed in the West region taking on Rick Pitino’s Iona Gaels. Prior to the Providence game, the Huskies were listed as just outside of earning a four seed, so the home win over the Friars seems to have been enough to vault them back into Lunardi’s list of the top 16 teams.

The Athletic ($): The Athletic’s most recent update also sends the Huskies to the West as a 4-seed, but has UConn set to take on projected WAC Tournament winner Utah Valley State in the first round instead of the Gaels. The Wolverines sit about eight spots lower in KenPom than Iona at 86 but do boast three wins this season over teams in the KenPom top 75.

CBS Sports: CBS Bracketologist Jerry Palm’s latest update from Monday still has UConn-Oral Roberts as the No. 5 vs. No. 12 matchup, this time in the Midwest region. With the Huskies moving up on just about every site, it seems to have dodged the ORU bullet for the time being, but the Golden Eagles remain a team to watch very closely.

EvanMiya: Evan Miyakawa has been simulating NCAA tournaments over on his website, which is an incredible source of info for college basketball fans. His simulations, which you can run for yourself on his website on the “Bracket Sims” section, has UConn as a 4-seed taking on 13-seed VCU.