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The UConn Fast Break - 4/7/2023
Anything good happen this week?
Welcome to this week’s Fast Break, and thank you for being a subscriber. We hope you’re enjoying your fourth day as a five-time national champion.
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Huskies win it all
UConn men’s basketball is back on top of the mountain. Five years after finishing in the bottom half of KenPom, Dan Hurley’s Huskies are the top dog in the nation.
The 17-point win over San Diego State capped off a historic run. UConn won its six NCAA Tournament games by an average of 20 points, with the lowest margin being 13. Saint Mary’s was the only team that had a KenPom win probability over 45 percent as the Gaels held a lead for the longest against UConn. Neither Miami (FL) nor San Diego State had a win probability of greater than 15 percent in the second half.
Adama Sanogo won the Final Four Most Outstanding Player award while observing a Ramadan fast. Jordan Hawkins cemented his status as a first-round pick with a strong tournament, including the dagger on a contested 3-pointer in the national championship game when San Diego State was surging. Andre Jackson did Andre Jackson things.
The team left no doubt over its three-week run over four top-20 KenPom teams before the tournament started. All six teams played a variety of styles with differing strengths and weaknesses, all of which were no match for the Huskies. It was a remarkable coaching and roster-building effort by Dan Hurley and his staff, one that gives us lots of hope for a very bright future as the beast of the new Big East.
New chapter for the Huskies – Dan Hurley is leading a new era for this program.
What will UConn’s roster look like next year? – Who’s going pro? Any transfers?
Season rewind – Top moments from the regular season.
Tournament highlights – All the highlights from the Huskies’ championship run.
Championship Celebration – Click through the photo gallery to see how the Huskies celebrated their championship victory.
Fast Break Pod – The latest episode discusses our thoughts heading into the national title game.
Kansas on the 2023-24 schedule – This will be part of the 2023 Big East-Big 12 Battle.
Clingan to the NBA? ($) – With being a dominant role player off the bench, Clingan has continued to raise his NBA Draft Stock throughout the NCAA tournament.
Top recruit commits to UConn – Morgan Cheli, a 2024 guard and No. 18 player in the class, committed to UConn on Thursday.
UConn WBB Weekly – Catch up on all the latest articles and news revolving around the Huskies.
Samuel Boisvert commits - The ‘05 forward will come to Storrs in a few seasons after some time in the BCHL.
Jake Flynn, Harrison Rees to return - The veteran stalwarts will be back for their extra year of eligibility due to COVID-19.
Portalin’ (bad) - Goaltender Logan Terness, who played significant minutes last year, is in the transfer portal.
Portalin’ (good) ($) - Forward Ryan Mahshie is coming to UConn by way of RPI.
Midseason catch-up - The Big East season is underway. While everyone was watching basketball, here’s what you missed on the diamond.
A wild one in New York - UConn had a huge lead in the middle innings, but fell to Columbia on Tuesday.
Retrievers swept - The Huskies welcomed UMBC to town and were not kind hosts.
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Andre Jackson and Joey Calcaterra showed some great chemistry in the national title game. Calcaterra pushes the ball to Jackson and sticks with the play, getting the ball back with this nifty pass from the junior.
Elon Musk is not allowing us to embed Twitter links so you can check it out here.
Nine years ago, UConn basketball did something that no other school has done, for the second time.
On April 7, 2014, the men’s program took down Kentucky in the national championship. The following night, the women made UConn dual national champions for the second time after mowing down Notre Dame.
The men’s side took down a 1-seed, 2-seed, 3-seed, and a 4-seed on the way to cutting down the nets from the 7-line, while the women were in the midst of a historic run of dominance, with a 21-point win in the national championship. They went 40-0 and played just one game within 15 points all year.
UConn, Great Pic
Ian Bethune was on the floor for all the celebration pics after UConn took down San Diego State on Monday night.
Things that matter: UConn men’s basketball has won five national championships since 1999.
Things that don’t matter: The color of the figurative blood of the program according to national media talking heads and people with twitter accounts.
Being labeled “blue blood” or not doesn’t give a school, its players, or its fans, anything of value. It’s a narrative tool, used by tools.
UConn is in the Empire Classic this year, the Maui Invitational next year, and was in the Phil Knight Invitational last year, with a game against Kansas in the Big East-Big 12 Battle coming in December. It sold out Gampel most of this season. It drove prices at the Big East Tournament to the size of mortgage payments, for a team that was the 4-seed.
Shouting about wanting to be in the old money club will never get anyone in the doors. But that’s fine. They have no discernible advantage in hoops.
The NCAA Tournament expanded to 64 teams in 1985. The shot clock was adopted the following year and the three-point line came the year after. Shoe and TV money was arriving and thriving around that time. This can be reasonably assumed as the start of modern college basketball.
Since then, Duke is tied with the Huskies at five, North Carolina has four, Kansas, Kentucky, and Villanova (including 1985) have three, and UCLA and Indiana have one. Of course, they all count in the books, but what does a 1950s title mean to a 30-year-old UNC fan?
UConn has reached unparalleled levels of success and did it without many of the financial advantages that, say, UNC or UCLA enjoys. How members of the media or other fanbases view UConn with regard to other programs doesn’t matter one iota. Enjoy your five titles and ignore the noise, because that’s all it is.
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