4. Connecticut (13-2)
Few complaints can be had by the Huskies, who after all did win the national championship last year. Missing Donovan Clingan at the moment certainly stings, though the Huskies are proving in recent weeks that they can play tough basketball and win important games even without their star center.
Back on the court for the first time in over a week, the Huskies showed little signs of rust, getting an 85-56 win against DePaul. Connecticut made quick work of perhaps the worst team in the Big East, with 20 points from Cam Spencer and 17 from Alex Karaban during a hot-shooting night. The Huskies played with toughness and renewed vigor a few days later, climbing out of a halftime deficit for an 88-81 road win at Butler. This time Karaban led the way with 20 points before he fouled out while Tristen Newton had 17 points and 5 assists.
Dan Hurley’s squad didn’t win that title on accident and they’re proving that they weren’t some flash in the pan. It’s been a relatively rough stretch in general without Clingan to start conference play, but the Huskies are surviving, and that comeback effort in Indianapolis was proof of that. Moving forward, things won’t be easy, with a tricky road trip to Xavier in the middle of next week.