By Brian Willwerth
Talk about Husky Hysteria.
Over the next few days, the University of Connecticut has the chance to celebrate not one, but two national championships in basketball. The men’s and women’s teams are both getting ready for the Final Four in their respective tournaments.
Take your pick for National Player of the Year candidate: Kemba Walker or Maya Moore. Both were chosen this week for the John R. Wooden All-American team.
Let’s start with Walker. The All-American has put the Huskies on his back during the team’s run to Houston, averaging more than 26 points a game in the postseason. Connecticut won nine games over a span of 19 days: five in the Big East Tournament, four more on the road to the Final Four. The Huskies won the West Regional as a #3 seed. UConn is the highest seed remaining in the tournament. Does this make them the favorite to cut down the nets on Monday night?
The way this tournament has gone, I wouldn’t bet on anything at this point.
But I digress. For the Lady Huskies, look no further than Maya Moore. For the second time in her career, she’s been honored as the United States Basketball Writers Association Player of the Year. Who can argue with that selection? The senior forward is averaging 22 points a game this season. In the regional final against Duke, she became just the seventh player in NCAA history to score 3,000 points in a career.
Consider this: in the last three seasons, the lady Huskies have lost one game. ONE. On December 12th, Stanford ended their NCAA-record 90-game winning streak. Since that lone loss, UConn has not tasted defeat again. The Lady Huskies are once again the overall #1 seed in the tournament. A rematch with the Cardinal is possible in the NCAA championship game in Indianapolis, if both teams advance.
And then, there are the coaches: Jim Calhoun and Geno Auriemma. Both are the College Basketball Hall of Fame. They’ve won nine national championships between them: two for Calhoun, seven for Auriemma. Those numbers speak for themselves.
If Connecticut pulls off dual national titles, it won’t even be the first time a Division I school has accomplished such a feat. It happened back in 2004 as well.
The school that did it? UConn.
**information from uconnhuskies.com was used in this report.**