STORRS, Conn. (AP) -Connecticut lost its starting shooting guard and three of its final seven games, yet its resume proved strong enough to earn the Huskies a top seed Sunday in the NCAA tournament.
UConn (27-4) will play Southern Conference champion and 16th-seeded Chattanooga on Thursday in the first round of the tournament's West Regional in Philadelphia.
Senior forward Jeff Adrien said he was confident the committee would put UConn among its top four, even in the wake of Thursday's six-overtime loss to Syracuse in the Big East tournament quarterfinals.
eed.''
Memphis, mentioned as a possible No. 1 seed, received the region's second seed.
UConn has been a top 5 team all season, spent four weeks at the top of the AP poll, was 9-4 against ranked teams and lost just one road game all year, to Pittsburgh in the regular-season finale.
But the Huskies are 4-3 since losing Jerome Dyson to a knee injury, including two straight losses coming into the NCAA tournament.
``We probably need to do everything we can, humanly possible, to get our confidence back, get our swagger back,'' coach Jim Calhoun said. ``It's hard to do that as you start an NCAA tournament game, but it's our opportunity.
Calhoun said he was relieved the selection committee did not use Dyson's injury as an excuse to bump the Huskies, one of three No. 1 seeds from the Big East.
``We've got to play through that,'' center Hasheem Thabeet said. ``We really miss him ... but coach told us we have to stay together and move on. We can't have him back right now, so we've got to go over there with the group of guys we have now, and fight over there and win games.''
M in the second round, they would head to Phoenix, the city where UConn's 1999 and 2004 national championship teams each earned bids to the Final Four.
Most of the players on this year's squad have never won a postseason game. UConn is 0-5 since beating Washington 98-92 in overtime in the 2006 regional semifinals.
``I think guys are anxious to get out on the court and redeem themselves,'' guard A.J. Price said. ``I know how well we respond after losses. If we do well in this tournament, great legacies can be left, and all the talk of us not winning a postseason game can be erased.''
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