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The Fast Break - 3/10/2023
Conference tournaments galore!
Welcome to this week’s Fast Break, and thank you for being a subscriber. Happy Champ Week!
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UConn sends away Providence
The Huskies started the Big East Tournament with a win over Providence that got much tighter and nerve-wracking than it should have been. The Friars never led and UConn held an advantage as high as 26, occurring with 12:07 left to go in the contest, but that deficit would shrink to as small as five after two separate 12-0 runs.
Dan Hurley’s side ultimately won by seven and while it was a white-knuckle ride, it led the entire game and ultimately had an easier Thursday than No. 1 Marquette, which needed overtime to get 8-seed St. John’s, as well as No. 2 Xavier, as the Musketeers trailed No. 10 DePaul by double-digits well into the second half before escaping with a five-point win.
The Huskies played their game and did so effectively, rebounding 40 percent of their misses, shot 43.3 percent from beyond the arc and had 1.14 point per possession. Armed with a 35-19 halftime lead, Providence had scored just 0.63 points per possession in the first half, but got back into it with a much stronger performance in the second.
The atmosphere on Thursday was exceptional and should be another pro-UConn crowd on Friday, as there are no other Northeast schools remaining, but Madison Square Garden in March is always the place to be as the Huskies look to return to the Big East final for the first time since 2011.
The Fast Break just got better – Like the UConn WBB Weekly, The Fast Break will soon begin posting premium content for subscribers to enjoy on all things men’s basketball.
Bracketology – UConn’s odds of reaching this year’s Final Four are continuing to improve, along with a jump in seed line.
Conference honors – Jordan Hawkins and Adama Sonogo were named to the First Team All Big-East with Alex Karaban and Donovan Clingan being named to the all-conference freshman team.
These go to 11 – The Huskies ended their regular season with another push in the rankings and finished at No. 11.
The Fast Break Podcast – The latest episode discusses how the Huskies got their mojo back and how that will help their tournament efforts this March.
UConn WBB Weekly - Some how, some way, they always figure it out in March.
Chasing Perfection – The latest episode of the podcast discusses what March will bring the Huskies and whether or not they can handle it.
Azzi Fudd is back ($) – After missing 14 games, Fudd made her long-awaited return to the court and showed no hesitation.
March ready ($) – Coming off two impressive wins in the Big East Tournament, the Huskies showed that they are more than ready for March.
Got a question for us? ($) – If you’re looking for your most burning questions to be answered surrounding the Huskies, send them in to be answered for an upcoming UConn WBB Weekly mailbag!
Frontcourt worries no more ($) – Coming into the season, many were worried about UConn's frontcourt, but after their dominant performance in the Big East Tournament, all those worries were silenced.
UMass Lowell looming in quarterfinal – UConn is the 4-seed in the Hockey East Tournament and will host No. 5 UMass Lowell on Saturday.
The Forecheck - The oldest and youngest players on the Huskies have developed a special bond this season.
Bracketology ($) - The weekend that sank UConn’s at-large hopes.
Pearson’s landmark hat-trick ($) - The first hat-trick in Toscano Family Ice Forum history came for a senior on Senior Night.
Third period woes continue ($) - The Huskies blew another lead in the third period on Friday against Boston College.
Owls ousted – The Huskies were dominant this past weekend and added three wins to their resume against Florida Atlantic.
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Another game, another insane athletic highlight for Andre Jackson. What a dunk.
With the Hockey East Tournament already underway, though UConn won’t begin its quest for the Lou Lamoriello Trophy until Saturday, let’s look back at the Huskies’ first-ever tournament win, which broke an 0-9 streak dating back to the 2014-15 season. Last year, 5-seed Boston University came into the XL Center to battle for a trip to the semifinals at TD Garden in Boston.
Instead, Vladistov Firstov drew first blood for the Huskies, Jonny Evans scored what proved to be the game-winner in the second frame, Darion Hanson made 38 saves on 39 shots and the monkey was off Mike Cavanaugh’s back.
Get hype for Saturday with our game story on The UConn Blog, Daniel Connolly’s look at the celebration after Chase Bradley’s empty-netter that was nine years in the making, in addition to our photo gallery.
UConn, Great Pic
It’s tournament season. Ian Bethune was on the scene on Thursday for the men’s quarterfinals and also for all three of women’s basketball’s victories. A few of his best shots from Thursday’s victory and also Monday’s celebration.
While UConn men’s hockey’s hopes at securing an at-large bid to go to its first NCAA Tournament have all but been extinguished, the Huskies can make it all a moot point and win the Hockey East Tournament and secure the automatic bid that comes with it. The road to the Lou Lamoriello Trophy begins for Mike Cavanaugh’s crew on Saturday, when it hosts the No. 5 UMass Lowell River Hawks in the quarterfinals.
Canvanaugh, in his 10th year behind the bench, has yet to break through to either win Hockey East or make the NCAA Tournament as an at-large squad, but has done an incredible job at program building and competing with some of the bluest blue bloods in college hockey. In basically two generations of players, he’s gone from “parking the ice bus” to get wins to playing in overtime for the conference championship, which is something the Huskies did against UMass last season.
Aside from a rebuilding year after a particularly large senior class- and the first to be recruited for Hockey East play- departed, UConn has improved, both on the ice and in the standings, year after year and now is expected to compete on any given night against any given team with a solid chance to win.
The Huskies split with UMass Lowell this year, with each winning a home game. The team has taken at least one game off of each of the seven other remaining Hockey East schools, save for Providence, with both contests ending in a draw.
Three victories separate UConn from entry into the NCAA Tournament and it’s got as good of a chance as anyone, as the Huskies were tied for the second-best odds with Northeastern before the tournament began, according to College Hockey News.
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