The University of Connecticut (UConn) men’s basketball team finished the job on April 3, when they captured their fifth National Championship, defeating San Diego State University (SDSU) 76-59.
Many students on Sacred Heart’s campus were ecstatic about seeing a team from Connecticut winning a national title.
“It was awesome to see a team like UConn, a team I grew up watching win the national championship,” said freshman Jason Palmieri. “Connecticut, being the small state we are no matter what school we go to, we root for Connecticut teams.”
UConn had not won the National Championship since 2014 where they defeated the University of Kentucky.
Following the retirement of long time head coach, Jim Calhoun in 2012, UConn has struggled to find a steady coaching replacement.
Calhoun built the UConn men’s basketball program from the ground up, achieving three national championships during his tenure.
Kevin Ollie was named his successor, but only lasted six seasons. Dan Hurley replaced him in 2018 and led the team to a championship this past year.
Hurley’s lack of postseason success during his first six seasons worried many UConn fans. However, Hurley silenced those critics with winning it all this year.
“The future is very bright,” said sophomore Zachary Hrubiec. “The last couple seasons Hurley has got a top ten recruiting class and he has enforced himself heavily in keeping top basketball prospects in New England home and playing for the home state. I can only see continued success going forward.”
In this year’s tournament, UConn went on one of the most dominant tournament runs ever seen. On route to victory, four-seeded UConn defeated several powerhouse teams including one-seed University of Arkansas and three-seed Gonzaga University. They won every game by at least 13 points or more.
UConn’s championship victory was unlike many we had seen before. The only other team to punish teams by a margin that large was the 2018 Villanova Wildcats.
On April 8, 45,000 students and fans attended the victory parade celebrating the team’s victory.