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The UConn Fast Break - 3/11/2022
UConn is back where it belongs in March.
Welcome to this week’s Fast Break, and thank you for being a subscriber. Welcome to tournament time!
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UConn is back home
While the Huskies played in the Big East Tournament last year, bowing out in the semifinal to Creighton, it was not a true re-introduction to the conference and its marquee event. Due to attendance restrictions, the atmosphere at Madison Square Garden was not what we expected for the Huskies’ return to postseason play at the iconic arena.
Thursday marked UConn’s true return. The team was part of the evening session on quarterfinal Thursday with two other charter members of the original Big East in St. John’s and Seton Hall, as well as Villanova, which has been the league’s standard-bearer in the post-breakup era.
The arena and the surrounding area were full prior to the tip-off of St. John’s and Villanova, with the sell-out crowd only growing throughout the evening as Pirates and Huskies fans departed local drinking establishments and entered MSG.
The 19,000-plus in attendance for the late-night game, despite a 9:45 p.m. tip-off, were in it from the jump.
Each fanbase sensed the importance of the game, making themselves heard throughout. With 13 minutes left Andre Jackson converted an and-one to put UConn up 11. While what could have been the dagger, an RJ Cole 3-pointer that raised the lead to 14 nine minutes later, UConn sealed the deal and advanced to the semifinals.
It feels good to be back (with fans).
Huskies close season at No. 20 - UConn split its games with Creighton and DePaul, dropping in the poll two spots after the regular season.
RJ Cole and Adama Sanogo named all-conference first team - The two key cogs for the Huskies were among six first-team honorees. Jordan Hawkins also is part of the all-freshman team.
Tyrese Martin has a chip on his shoulder - The senior forward was left off the all-conference teams and seems to have taken the slight personally.
Quarterfinal win over Seton Hall - The Huskies kept the Pirates at arm’s length throughout.
Solid victory over DePaul - The Huskies closed out the regular season with a seven-point win over DePaul with a lead that neared 20 late in the second half.
Two 2023 commits named Gatorade Players of the Year - KK Arnold, secured the honor in Wisconsin, while Ashlynn Slade was given the award in Indiana.
‘Everybody eats’ - The Huskies are not afraid to make the extra pass to get the best shot and have been very unselfish all year.
Paige Bueckers update - After some tough performances in the conference tournament, the sophomore star is focused on locking in mentally for the Big Dance.
Big East Champions - UConn rolled through the tournament, with no margin of defeat inside 20 points. Georgetown fell in the quarterfinals, followed by Marquette in the semifinals and Villanova in the title game.
Nika Muhl earns Big East DPOY - The guard has been incredibly strong on the defensive end all season.
Chasing Perfection - The crew got together to discuss the Big East Tournament, through which UConn ran roughshod with three dominant wins.
UConn WBB Weekly - This week’s version of the newsletter focused on women’s basketball highlights the Huskies’ defensive prowess, a trait that has been lacking n recent seasons.
Huskies earn No. 4 seed - UConn will get a home playoff game in the Hockey East Tournament, hosting Boston University on Saturday in the quarterfinals.
The senior class still has some history to make - Already with several program records and firsts, this year’s seniors are pursuing the program’s first Hockey East Tournament win.
Solid win in home opener - The Huskies scored early and often in the first midweek contest of the season.
Streak extends to seven with sweep - UConn now has a weekend sweep in consecutive weekends.
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Check out this slick pass from Tyrese Martin in transition to Isaiah Whaley, who finishes the layup to extend the Huskies’ lead late in the second half.
Hard to believe it’s already been 11 years since the Kemba Walker step-back.
Take it away, Dave Pasch.
UConn, Great Pic
The men’s basketball team celebrated Senior Day on Saturday, with five players honored before their final game at Gampel Pavilion.
As a team looking to make some national noise, Jim Penders’ UConn baseball squad is in the unenviable position of having to dominate nonconference play because of the Big East’s weak conference slate.
So far so good.
UConn has won eight straight and stands at 9-1, the best start in Penders’ tenure, which began in 2004. Before the Huskies took an 8-3 victory over Hartford, they swept Jacksonville and North Florida in dominating fashion. Last weekend, they outscored Florida International 28-3, including a 15-0 blowout in Sunday’s finale.
North Florida and Florida International are likely not tournament teams, but all the Huskies can do is play who is on the schedule, with the only blemish coming on opening weekend against a Charlotte club that made a Regional in 2021.
UConn will now play eight games in California against top-tier competition: midweek dates with Long Beach State and USC, in addition to a weekend series against a solid Pepperdine club and UC San Diego.
Upon their return, they will get into the meat of their home schedule, which includes 21 more contests at Elliot Ballpark and another at Dunkin’ Donuts Park. UConn puts together a solid squad every spring and is certainly worth your time, especially once the basketball and hockey seasons are over.
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