5. Connecticut (11-2)
Dan Hurley’s work at Connecticut has already been legendary, turning the Huskies into national champions last season and returning a pretty potent roster for this season. Yes there are some different faces playing different roles, but the Huskies have already shown us this year that they’re a force to be reckoned with and perhaps a favorite to claim national glory again.
With no games on their schedule the last week, we’ll instead focus on the current issue: the injury to Donovan Clingan. The Huskies lost by 15 at Seton Hall in their Big East opener just over a week ago and struggled before taking care of St. John’s. After blitzing through most of their nonconference slate, it’s clear that Connecticut will face a bevy of challenges if they want to win a conference title, and that’s even after Clingan returns from his injury.
Connecticut absolutely has the pieces to cause major damage in the postseason again, as they’ve already show in double-digit wins over Texas, North Carolina, and Gonzaga, all of which were at neutral-sites. Figuring things out without Clingan will be a challenge, but at least some of the toughest Big East games will wait a few more weeks. They’ll host DePaul on Tuesday before heading to Indianapolis to tango with Butler.