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Connecticut Huskies (21-9, 9-9 Big East): UConn Playing For NCAA Position

Connecticut Huskies (21-9, 9-9 Big East)

Big East Tournament Seed: No. 9; play No. 16 DePaul Blue Demons on Tuesday (noon on ESPN2).

Head Coach: Regardless of what you may think of Jim Calhoun, he's one of the best coaches in the country. Calhoun, who's coaching his 25th season at UConn, continually brings in top, NBA-level talent and usually has great results with them.  

Team MVP: Junior forward Kemba Walker, who averages 23.1 points per game, is one of the best players in the country and a dynamic scoring point guard. As he goes, the Huskies go and they can win the Big East Tournament because of him. He’s leaving after this season for the NBA, so expect him to go out trying to improve his draft status in the Big East and NCAA Tournament. 

Playing For:  Improved seeding in the NCAA Tournament. Having lost four of their last five, the Huskies stock has been falling recently. A loss in the first round to DePaul would put them on the No. 7 line, while a good tournament could see them rise to as high as a No. 3 or 4 seed. 

Breakdown: Early in the season, UConn burst on the scene, which is strange to say because usually they have tons of eyes on them. In a loaded Big East Conference, no one really expected much from this young Huskies team. However when UConn posted wins over the Michigan State Spartans and Kentucky Wildcats in late November, it made it apparent that the Huskies were a force to be reckoned with.

Walker is the leader in more than one way and if he plays well the 16th-ranked Huskies can beat anyone in the country. Calhoun’s teams are always big down low and this one is no different. Helped by big bodies like Alex Oriakhi and freshman Roscoe Smith, who are pulling down the boards and blocking shots, UConn is ranked 10th in the country in rebounding (40.0 rpg).

-- written by Chris Celletti.