UConn advances to its 1st Sugary food 16 because 2014
ALBANY, N.Y.– The headaches might come a little less regularly now for Connecticut coach Dan Hurley, a level of relief for the Huskies head coach. He had been close to this phase of the NCAA tournament prior to as a head coach– years ago at Rhode Island.He didn’t arrive then, losing to Oregon after being up late. So Sunday used a little bit of comfort and redemption. For him. For Connecticut too.The concerns no longer require to be asked around his program. Not after a 70-55 handling of Saint Mary’s propelled Connecticut into its very first Sugary food 16 since 2014.
“Possibly I won’t have as many headaches about that because that [Oregon] game, that haunts me,” Hurley said. “It has haunted me. And now, I’ll think of it less.”
His Huskies offered him much happier things to consider on Sunday. When Hurley pulled his beginners with 1:47 left, up 70-52, to a standing ovation from the UConn fans who made the trip, they knew they ‘d play again. That they ‘d be heading to Las Vegas to play No. 8 Arkansas on Thursday night.The last time Connecticut reached this deep in the NCAA tournament, it entered as a No. 7 seed in 2014. It ended with the program’s fourth national championship. The players on this group hardly remember it. “I was most likely viewing ‘Power Rangers ‘or something,”sophomore guard Jordan Hawkins stated.” I was a kid. So yeah, it’s incredible to bring this program back to where it was.”Hawkins remembers little about
that team. About Sunday, he’ll recall a lot. His back-to-back 3-pointers with a little under 7 minutes left– the last of which left him strolling pull back the court shaking with excitement– offered Connecticut a 62-47 lead.Minutes previously, the Huskies had begun to break away.
A 3-pointer from Alex Karaban offered Connecticut a 46-40 lead, and for the first time all night, MVP Arena felt more like the XL Center in Hartford than an arena in upstate New York.Karaban felt a switch once his shot went down– the redshirt freshman’s just basket of the night.
For Connecticut, it indicated more.” That shot actually swayed to our momentum,”Karaban said.”… I think that was like the first blow.
You felt it in the huddle too. You felt the interest increase. You felt the confidence go up, everything go up as a team.Editor’s Picks< img src ="https://a.espncdn.com/combiner/i?img=/photo/2023/0318/r1146677_1296x1296_1-1.jpg&w=130&h=130&scale=crop&location=center "width="65
” height =”65″/ > 1 Related” It just felt like we weren’t going to lose at that point.”
From there, Connecticut (27-8) looked like the same group that put away Iona in the second half on Friday in the first round. Undoubtedly, it seemed like UConn would have enough to close out Saint Mary’s (27-8).
Karaban, a redshirt freshman, was 13 years old the last time Connecticut reached this point of the tournament. He viewed the nationwide semifinal, but he wasn’t permitted to remain up for the championship game and awakened at 6 the next morning to see the highlights.
“You consider this program as stone-cold dominant, and now that it hasn’t been there in near 10 years, you’re actually doing something special right now,” Karaban said. “We’re including ourselves to history at UConn, and we’re far from done.”
Over the two-game trouncing of Gaels both east (Iona) and west (Saint Mary’s), it ended up being clear Connecticut would be a really tough out. The Huskies won both contests in similar ways, their depth using down the opponent and their star closing things out.Forward Adama Sanogo– who on Friday ended up being the third Connecticut player ever to have at least 25 points and 10 rebounds in a NCAA tournament game after his 28-point, 13-rebound efficiency, signing up with Ray Allen(1996)and DeAndre Daniels(2014)– continued his proficiency on Sunday.Sanogo signed up 24 points and 8 rebounds in a tough match
with Saint Mary’s huge man Mitchell Saxen. Connecticut didn’t care. The Huskies went to Sanogo once again and again– from the very first basket of the game on.From the inside existence of Sanogo to the guard play from Hawkins(12 points )and Tristen Newton(
13 points, 5 helps), there wasn’t much Saint Mary’s might do once Connecticut got rolling. No Gaels scored in double figures, and they didn’t make a basket after a Saxen layup with 7:04 left. There’s a factor Iona coach Rick Pitino stated after his team lost to UConn on Friday that the Huskies” have all the metrics to win a national championship.” With 36.2 seconds left, Hurley walked down his bench providing all his players high-fives. When the horn sounded, he raised an arm to the UConn fans in participation, urging them to cheer. He raised both his fists and arms to do it again.Then he walked behind his bench and welcomed his other half, Andrea, for a long time prior to walking past the rest of his friends and family– actor Expense Murray, the daddy of UConn assistant Luke Murray, was a couple of rows above– on his method to the locker room.”My better half is not from this world. She’s a regular human,” Hurley said.”She did not get raised in a home like me where your papa is a coach and your bro’s a basketball maniac like my papa
and me.” This is hard on her sometimes, the failures in 2015’s competition and the agonizing losses; it was simply excellent to see her so pleased.”He needed to celebrate with his family, too.
He is a Hurley. He’s part of an iconic American basketball household– the first member to reach the Sugary food 16 as a head coach.”
I’m so happy with him,”said Hurley’s father, Bob, a Hall of Fame high school coach in New Jersey.”As a papa, it’s so much fun to come to these things and be a part of it.
The energy and the feelings around this group as they’ve been moving along, getting more unsafe each game they play. “It’s been a delight for us to come.” The happiness can come after the haunting is done. After the pain and the failure that had been there previously– for Hurley. And for his players, with the past 2
seasons culminating in first-round NCAA tournament exits. There’s some relief now– some flexibility too.”Dipping into UConn, it’s simply you deal with a lot more pressure and criticism and like immediate meltdowns on social when you lose,”Dan Hurley said.”I think in the very first and even 2nd round of competitions, it’s more of a problem to dip into UConn than it is an advantage.”Particularly in that first-round game, simply having the ability to get that first one, I thought the group simply was a lot looser today. Undoubtedly now you get to the Sugary food 16, you can really just kind of go out and simply let it rip.