While Jim Calhoun didn't outright RSVP to the NIT at today's post-game news conference, it did sound like we could see the Huskies back on the court next week.

"I have great respect for the NIT," said Calhoun, who said he'd have to talk it over with his athletic department before committing. "I want to make sure if they step back on the court to play basketball, that they would be able to bring emotion, energy and all those things you should bring to competition."

Will they make a run and return to Madison Square Garden? Not likely -- unless they somehow find a way to play 600 percent better than they did today.

The last time UConn played at Madison Square Garden, it lost to Kentucky in a nail-biting game that had an electric crowd on its feet. Calhoun recalled the game in the news conference, saying that he couldn't imagine the season turning out like it did.

"It's been the strangest year of basketball," the 24-year UConn coach said.

Connecticut, losers of four straight, has now lost five consecutive games in the Big East tournament. One of the biggest reasons for the recent slide has been the play of Jerome Dyson, who scored a combined eight points in the last two games. Dyson has averaged 17.7 points per game this year.

The team's other senior star, Stanley Robinson, hasn't done much better. He's averaged 7.3 points per game in the last three games, which is eight points below his average.

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Although the players haven't showed much gumption lately, it would surprise me if all of them didn't want to get back on the court next week and get another win.

PHOTOS: St. John's defeats UConn, 73-51

Photo: AP / Frank Franklin II