Tuesday, April 8, 2014
Congrats to Kevin Ollie and his staff, Shabazz Napier and the band of brothers. This was one unbelievable run. This team lost to Stanford, Houston, Cincinnati, SMU twice, Louisville three times. This team could have lost to St. Joseph's in the second round. What an amazing run! No one believed...the national media was full of doubters. WOW - what an unbelievable time....now onto Tuesday night when the women's can repeat as National Champions.
Damn, it feels good to be Husky!
Saturday, April 5, 2014
This team has turned it around. I am shocked and proud of this team. For all the adversity and struggles this team has gone through, they will be playing for a national championship on Monday night. My criticism earlier in the season was justified, but I knew the talent and potential this team had. I am happy for them and the university. Onto Monday night. Go Huskies!
By the way, Turner and CBS did something awesome tonight. The Team Cast on TNT and TruTV was just awesome. I watched the UConn Team Cast. I loved the basis slight of Donny Marshall and Swin Cash. Eric Frede was great with the play-by-play. I hope we can see more of this in the future.
Saturday, March 29, 2014
Here are some tidbits - UConn lost their only meeting with Michigan State in the NCAA Tournament, in the 2009 Final Four played in Detriot.
No, No. 7 seed advanced to the Final Four.
UConn has never advanced to the Final Four from the East Region. The Huskies lost a heartbreaker to Duke in 1990 in the Meadowlands. Then again, UConn lost to North Carolina in Greensboro in 1998. Also, UConn lost to Maryland in Syracuse in 2002. Most recently, UConn lost to George Mason in Washington, DC in 2006. In two of those three games, UConn was the higher seed and twice they played the regional final in the opponent's backyard.
UConn has advanced to the Final Four the four times in the last six appearances in the Elite Eight.
The crowd at Madison Square Garden will be again a pro-UConn crowd. This is amazing since the fans did not show up earlier this season when they played in the 2K Sports Classic. I was there for the championship game and in a half fulled MSG, it was a very pro-Indiana crowd. I felt like it has been that way the past few times UConn has played a preseason tournament there and even the last few St. John's games. If UConn fans want to make some noise, they need to appear again next year at Yankee Stadium for the football game vs. Army and again when there is a UConn men's./women's doubleheader. I remember the day that Metro North always had extra cars and trains when UConn was in town - this needs to happen again and often.
PS: Today is the 15th anniversary of the greatest win in UConn basketball history. 77-74!
Sunday, March 23, 2014
Well, the Huskies know how to turn it on in March.
Last week they proved they belonged when they defeated Memphis and Cincinnati to advance to the American championship game. The Memphis win was significant because it was a true road game. The Cincinnati win was just an old school grind.
Then past Thursday, the Huskies were playing awful in the first half. Down by as many as ten, then they fought back. Being down late, it was the freshman center who made the biggest shot and free throw in this career to force overtime. As we have become accustomed to, OT is Napier time. Nothing changed as UConn advanced to the Round of 32.
Saturday night primetime was interesting. UConn looked like they were going to get blown out of the building early on. Napier with two quick fouls and plenty of time on the bench, and Husky bench stepped up. Villanova was forced to live and die by the three and they did die. Napier took over in the second half and helped lead UConn to the East Regional semifinals at Madison Square Garden in NYC.
MSG is a UConn homecourt. The Huskies beat BC and Indiana there back in November. They won Big East tournament championships there and always gave St. John's a battle. The Garden will be rocking on Friday night.
Sunday, March 9, 2014
C. Vivian Stringer described UConn as a prize fighter who throws a knockout punch early in the game and they shadow box throughout the rest of the half. Then after halftime, they throw that next punch and usually the opponent can't withstand it. If you can't survive either punches, it is a TKO.
USF came so close to an upset bid - but lost the game in the final seconds. The Schimmel sisters played a key role in the Cardinals win - Shoni with the go ahead bucket and Jude with the steal and two free throws with 3.3 seconds left.
Jeff Walz and Jose Fernandez are the most animated coaches I have seen on a sideline in a long time.
USF has some ugly uniforms. What are the people at Under Armor thinking?
$43.30 for a ticket to Monday's championship game is well worth it. This will be Part Three between No. 1 UConn and No. 3 Louisville. If the Cards win, UL is the No. 1 seed in the Louisville Region and UConn will be the No. 1 seed in Lincoln. If the Huskies win, there is a 51% chance UConn is the top seed in Louisville region and Louisville is the two seed. Still, how is Louisville not a one seed - two losses to UConn and one loss to SEC runner-up Kentucky? The NCAA should forget about their regional rules and do the right thing and place these two teams away from each other.
Best line of the day - Geno was asked if he thought it was odd that Rutgers did not attempt a three during the game. His answer - why shoot threes if you are going to miss. Stringer agreed.
Of note, 2014-15 season - UConn and Rutgers may meet in either Madison Square Garden or the Barclays Center. This all depends if Stringer wants to play a neutral site game. Also, UConn will visit Notre Dame. UConn an Louisville will continue to play their series in the 2015-16 season.