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The UConn Fast Break - 3/31/2023
Final Four Edition.
Welcome to this week’s Fast Break, and thank you for being a subscriber. Hello from Houston, where most of The Fast Break writers and editors will be spending the weekend (and hopefully staying through Monday)!
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The Chase for Title No. 5
UConn men’s basketball is in the sixth Final Four in program history. The Huskies are the odds-on favorite to cut down the nets on Monday night, but first, they need to get past a dangerous offensive squad in 5-seed Miami (FL).
The Hurricanes have already taken down a pair of top-five KenPom teams, as they beat an injured Houston squad by 14 in the Sweet Sixteen and followed it up by making a massive comeback against Texas in the Elite Eight.
If UConn wins, it would meet either 5-seed San Diego State or 9-seed Florida Atlantic; the path to another title is a lot less dangerous than it could be.
Our team will have wall-to-wall coverage and we’ve already put out some great stuff in advance of the weekend. This includes a podcast breaking down the Miami matchup, an article offering a detailed look at how Miami plays, and a look back at the history between these two teams.
How Hurley Rebuilt the Huskies – After last season, Dan Hurley apologized to his core players and promised they’d have more support.
Fast Break Pod – Discussing the keys to the Huskies’ success during their stellar tournament run.
History with the Hurricanes – This is far from the first meeting for these two.
Miami Scouting Report – The Hurricanes boast a terrific trio of Isaiah Wong, Nijel Pack, and Jordan Miller.
Ghost from the past? – Jim Larranga reminds UConn fans of a nightmare they don’t want to relive.
Fast Break Pod: Miami Matchup – Keys to the game for the Huskies.
Nika Mühl meets fellow Croatian club alum – Fellow Croatian and Buckeye Karla Vres shared her thoughts on Mühl and her ties to Croatian club ZKK Tresnjevka 2009.
Seattle Journal – Notes from the practice days before the Sweet Sixteen.
What went wrong for UConn($) – Exactly what it sounds like.
UConn’s breaking point – The Huskies struggled against the Buckeyes press and never recovered.
The 2022-23 season shouldn’t be deemed a failure – There was a lot more to this season than the way it ended.
Best transfers in program history?– Dorka Juhász and Lou Lopez Sénéchal have left a lasting impact on UConn.
Chasing Perfection - Discussing the Huskies’ loss against the Buckeyes.
UConn WBB Weekly – When one season ends, another one begins – here’s what to look for this offseason.
Hook C Baseball Newsletter - A glance at Huskies in the majors.
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UConn baseball hosted Hartford on Wednesday and served the Hawks a beatdown, winning 17-1 before the game was called after seven innings.
It was a 10-run first frame for the Huskies, capped off by this big fly from Ben Huber on a hanging breaking ball.
UConn knows a little something about winning in Houston. In 2011, the Huskies were a 3-seed out of the West Regional and squeaked by Kentucky in the national semifinal before the national championship against Butler.
Relive the glory of an 11-game winning streak and the magic of cutting down the nets at this same stadium in Houston they’ll be playing in this weekend!
UConn, Great Pic
Check out some of the best behind-the-scenes shots from UConn’s Final Four journey, courtesy of the Huskies’ and Big East MBB Twitter accounts!
Five years ago, when the Huskies were finishing seasons below .500 for the first time since the Reagan Administration and toiling in the American Athletic Conference, the idea that this team would return to a Final Four in a handful of years seemed unlikely.
When other schools have a downswing, it also usually is not accompanied by a conference downgrade and the retirement of a legendary coach who raised everything in the program. In fact, usually just one of those things can take a team down.
However, Dan Hurley has brought the program from No. 179 in KenPom to the top of the table and has built what should be a perennial contender in the Big East. Now just two wins away from a national championship that will be the fifth for the program, fans can rest easy knowing the future is incredibly bright and also stable.
Block out all the noise and nonsense about UConn’s standing nationally. It doesn’t matter whether they’re a “blue blood” or not. What matters is that UConn is playing games that matter now and really flourishing in a way we have not seen since the mid-2000s.
No matter what happens this weekend, appreciate what we have, how rare it is, and how uncertain our future once was.
P.S. - If you’re in Houston feel free to hit us up on Twitter @TheUConnBlog or @StorrsCentral. Twitter legend @NoEscalators is trying to get people together at this place around 8 p.m. Friday, and there should be lots of festivities Saturday pre-game and Sunday as well. This is what it’s all about!
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