Roundtable: What seed will UConn get in March Madness?

Connecticut guard Daniel Hamilton (5) drives the ball against Cincinnati forward Gary Clark (11) during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Feb. 20, 2016, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Gary Landers)

What seed will the men’s basketball team be in the NCAA tournament?

If you’re a college basketball fan, there is no better time of year than March Madness. With the big tournament coming up down the line, projecting the potential brackets is becoming more relevant with each passing day.

This season has been up and down for the UConn men’s basketball team. Especially as of late, it’s been hard to find any sort of consistency with the Huskies. The Huskies are 19-8 as of this writing with four games to play, including an away showdown at SMU.

So where will the Huskies be seeded come March? The DC Sports staff gives their picks.

Matt Barresi, campus correspondent: I think UConn will end up with an 8 seed in the tournament. Right now ESPN’s Bracketology guru Joe Lunardi has them as a 9 seed, but they really control their own fate at this point. Envisioning an 8 might be because I’m just irrationally bullish on this Husky squad but they have the talent. They can pick up another signature win against SMU coming up and a win over a solid Houston team would help as well. In the conference tournament they’ll get chances at Temple, Cincinnati and fringe tournament team Tulsa. Picking up wins over any of those teams would be big. Winning the conference tournament will go a long, long way in the eyes of the committee. If they win out I could see them reaching as high as a seven slot. Don’t tell me they couldn’t surpass teams like USC, or Providence in the NCAA’s mind down the stretch. This team certainly has the capability to win out and get a more respectable seed.

Connecticut head coach Kevin Ollie shouts instructions during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Cincinnati, Saturday, Feb. 20, 2016, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Gary Landers)

Stephanie Sheehan, campus correspondent: If the season ended today, I believe that UConn would be anywhere between an 8-10 seed, but I think that too many what-if scenarios remain to accurately assess where UConn would land. If they lose to SMU and drop one more game, they’d probably get a 10 or 11 seed. Losing to just SMU and winning the rest of their games would probably put them somewhere around 8 or 9, but regular season finishes are still contingent on conference tournament play. In the unlikely event that they win out the rest of the season AND win the conference championship, they could jump up to as high as a 6 seed, but that would be best-case scenario. Assuming that they at least make it to the championship game (which, honestly, would be a tough task to accomplish considering their abysmal level of play against Temple, Tulsa and Cincy), they would most likely move up to an 8 seed. But, their BPI rank is 23 and their RPI rank is 38, which is decent considering how inconsistent the team has been this year; their non-conference wins have been good. So even with an early exit or a loss in the conference championship game, they would probably still get a 10 or 11 seed.

Josh Buser, campus correspondent: Come Selection Sunday, I see UConn getting a 10 seed.  They have a tough game coming up in Moody Coliseum against a revenge-seeking SMU squad, and also host a formidable Houston team, which could mean one or two more losses by the end of the regular season.

Then comes the conference tournament.  Even without SMU to worry about, UConn is a combined 1-5 against Temple, Cincinnati, and Tulsa, with the sole victory being of a two point margin in front of the Gampel crowd.  UConn will likely have to beat at least two of these teams if the Huskies were to win the tournament.  That’s a tough task, especially considering UConn won’t have any home-court advantage in Florida (location of the conference tournament).

When the committee looks at UConn’s résumé as a whole, it will be underwhelming.  If the Huskies lose these 2-3 games at the end of the year and don’t make the conference final, it will be tough to get anything higher than a 10 seed.  However, a 10 seed might be more of a blessing than a curse, as UConn would avoid playing the 1 seed in its region until the regional final, rather than having to play the 1 seed in the round of 32 if UConn were an 8 or 9 seed.


Josh Buser is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at joshua.buser@uconn.edu.

Stephanie Sheehan is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at stephanie.sheehan@uconn.edu.

Matt Barressi is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at matthew.barresi@uconn.edu.