Connecticut has not had a good season; the Huskies are just 14-9 on the year. They’ve lost three of their last four games and six of their last nine. And a major reason for their mid-season collapse came a few weeks ago. Head coach Jim Calhoun has missed the last six games; he had to take a leave of absence because he’s dealing with some medical issues. His absence has been quite noticeable as the Huskies have not been able to overcome their leader not being on the bench.
The Huskies lost a couple of close back-to-back games and their bubble burst when they had to travel on just one day of rest and play at a desperate Louisville team. UConn lost that game by 13 points, but that wasn’t really much of a surprise considering how fragile they were going into that ballgame. But they bounced back in their last game, an unimpressive 64-57 win over hapless DePaul. However, a win is a win right now for the Huskies no matter how big the margin and no matter who the opponent. They just needed a win, and that win may get this team on a little roll to close out the season.
Syracuse has been a pleasant surprise this season. They are currently 23-1 on the year and on a 10-game winning streak. Their first and only loss came in their second conference game; an 82-72 home loss to Pittsburgh. But the Orange may be in a dogfight in this game because they are facing a strong defensive team in UConn. The Huskies allow just 67 points per game on 38.3% shooting which is a major step-up for a Syracuse offense that has faced the weakest defensive teams in the conference in recent games. When facing the other two strong defensive teams in the Big East, Syracuse lost to Pittsburgh and only beat West Virginia by a single point.
There are a couple of reasons why Connecticut is not a Best Bet tonight. It’s kind of hard to play-against Syracuse right now even though they are taking on a strong defensive team for the first time in awhile. The Orange are 15-5 ATS this season, and with UConn losing two of their last three road games by 15 and 13 points, we just don’t trust them enough at this point to make a stronger play on them.