While granting the Huskies’ talent cannot be overlooked, the Atlanta Journal Constitution’s Mark Bradley isn’t sold on UConn making a title run.
When UConn is the subject, hyperbole comes easy. Truth to tell, only five of these Huskies have had 20-point games this season. That’s still really good, but it’s not quite seven (or eight). And there are other really gifted teams in the field. (Duke, to name one. Texas and Villanova, to name two more.) So why is it that only Connecticut’s abundance of aptitude inspires such awe?
“We’re tall,” Jim Calhoun said. “We rebound and we block shots.” As the former Texas coach Abe Lemons used to say, this sort of team looks unbeatable walking through an airport. But will UConn, which lost its first game in the Big East tournament, be unbeatable in this Big Dance?
“We’re not exactly coming in off a disaster,” said Calhoun, recalling the overtime loss to Syracuse. “We’re 27-3. Sometimes I have to remind myself of that.”
Maybe all the Huskies need to remind themselves. On Feb. 26 they beat Villanova by 14 in an impassioned rematch, and they haven’t been half as passionate since. They nearly blew a huge lead against South Florida, the worst team in the Big East, and then they played from behind in their home finale against Louisville. And then they went to Madison Square Garden and exited forthwith.
A month ago this was the best-looking, best-playing team in the land. It’s still the best-looking, but the playing part is suddenly in question.