UConn has just won the Big East Tournament with a thrilling 69-66 win over Louisville. What’s the big deal, you ask? How about winning five games in five consecutive days over some of the best teams in the country? That’s pretty impressive.
Leading the team is Kemba Walker, a junior who is certainly going to jump to the NBA after the season. To put it mildly, he’s a beast. When the game was on the line versus Syracuse, who did the ball go to? Walker. Who had a buzzer beater against Pitt? Walker. Who was a defensive pest that forced numerous Louisville errors in the title game? Walker.
Basically, he’s the best player on the team, is up for national player of the year and will be fairly rich when he gets drafted in a few months. If you’re going to UConn right now, forget making friends with the guy with the car; make friends with him!
With all that’s gone on with UConn’s basketball team this year, it was great to see them pull together and make some national noise by running through the Big East. And does anyone else notice how strangely happy Jim Calhoun seems these days? Usually by this time of year he’s a surly curmudgeon ready to bite the heads off sideline reporters. He actually seemed to have an aura of joy to him after the Louisville win. It makes me uncomfortable.
Can UConn win it all? They have a deep enough team to make a serious run at it. The problem is that so do a whole host of other teams, including a number of schools from the Big East. It’s going to be a rough road but it could be an exciting one. This team is about as hot as a basketball team can be, and Walker is the type of player that can lead a team to a title.
In other NCAA basketball news, another team from Connecticut is going to the tournament: The Hartford Hawks women’s team. What makes their trip to the dance incredible is the fact that they started the season 1-9 and only finished the season 17-15. (They won their conference tournament, which gets you in automatically.) Congrats, Coach Rizzotti! Hopefully they can win a game or two and don’t have to play UConn.