1. The slump needs to end now, a bid is on the line
Overall, this team is just in a total slump and is watching their chances of an NCAA Tournament bid fade away before their very eyes. For a Pitino-coached squad, this is not even close to the expectations that were provided heading into the season. This team can sit there and play the blame game, but at the end of the day, they have to come together and win some tough games if they want to get into the big dance.
When you get dominated like that against Xavier, that should be a loss that lights a fire under a team like this. They only made two threes, got dominated on the glass, and there were not a ton of positives to take away from that game. But if this team is as great as other Pitino-coached teams, this is the game where you find a way to win and quiet the noise a bit more. The fans also have to show up, as this will likely be a split crowd with Huskies fans showing up in droves as per usual.
At the end of the day, a lot of this comes down to effort, and Pitino has to get these guys locked in for this one. For a game that might just be the biggest game this program has played in a very long time, they cannot come out flat like they have in the past few games.
Even if they make it a great game and stay competitive, that would give them some momentum going forward. But for this team and their expectations, a win is the only acceptable result, and that is up to Pitino to fulfill his promises of greatness for this team and this program.