Storrs Side: UConn remains ranked, along with four other AAC teams
A week after re-entering the AP Top 25 Poll, the UConn men's basketball team is ranked No. 24. Coming in with 194 points in the rankings, the Huskies are right on the edge of losing their place in the national discussion. Following a hard fought loss to No. 10 Cincinnati and a defeat of conference-foe Central Florida, the Huskies stand at 18-5 and 6-4 in the American Athletic Conference. A week ago, UConn was ranked No. 22, their first ranking since early January.
UConn traveled to face the then-undefeated Cincinnati Bearcats last Thursday and were narrowly defeated 63-58. They played that game without junior DeAndre Daniels, a vital component to their offense. However on Sunday, UConn bounced back nicely with a victory at Central Florida. Graduate student Lasan Kromah carried the Huskies with a 17-point, seven rebound performance to lead a decisive 75-55 rout. Daniels, who had been sidelined for three games with ankle and back problems, played 25 minutes and contributed 16 points and seven rebounds.
UConn will now face off against South Florida (12-12, 5-8 AAC) in Hartford at the XL Center in one of their last home games of the season. Following that, the Huskies match up against No. 20 Memphis (18-5, 7-3 AAC) in another tough game on Saturday, as it will be the schools' first meeting as members of the American Athletic Conference.
The American Athletic Conference is tied with the Big Ten as the most represented conference in the AP Top 25 Poll with five teams, proving its place among power conferences-at least in basketball. Leading the way is undefeated is No. 10 Cincinnati, No.13 Louisville, No. 20 Memphis, No. 23 Southern Methodist and No. 24 UConn.
This is the first time SMU has been ranked since the 1984-85 season. Led by Hall of Fame Larry Brown, the Mustangs have been one of the best stories in college basketball, with their upset of Cincinnati as their high water mark of the season. SMU also upset UConn in Dallas in the teams' second game in the new conference. However UConn will have the opportunity to avenge their road loss when SMU comes to Gampel Pavilion on Feb. 23.
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