Greetings from the heart of the Corn Belt. It may not be at the top of anyone’s list as a vacation destination but for eight college basketball teams, including UConn, there is no place they’d rather be.
23 miles north of Walt Disney World, the Amway Center is the new Magic Kingdom for Husky Nation. That’s where the 2016 UConn men punched their ticket for the NCAA tournament with three wins in three days at the American Athletic Conference Basketball Tournament.
It’s not an understatement or an exaggeration to say that today’s UConn-Cincinnati game in the quarterfinals of the AAC tournament is THE MOST IMPORTANT game in the country when it comes to NCAA tournament hopes.
It’s been a struggle for D-Ham at times this season and maybe that time on the bench was the kick start he needed. Time will tell but Husky fans hope it to be the case. Because make no mistake, UConn needs Hamilton at his best to make any sort of post season run.
I didn’t know what to expect in Tampa. The UConn men played so poorly in Cincinnati , I didn’t know if there would be a hangover. And watching USF tear up Memphis, I thought the Bulls would present a stiff challenge. Wrong , wrong , wrong.
So the big four game stretch is over for the UConn Men. Two wins, both at home, two losses, both on the road. Now time for some thoughts.
The Huskies played good, sometimes great basketball for the majority of both games. But not for a full 40 minutes, not even for 35.
It looked for the longest time on Thursday night that the UConn men would get their biggest four game stretch of the season off to a successful start. But then, it changed and in the end, it was a demoralizing 63-58 loss.
For the first time in a month, the UConn men were back in the friendly confines on Gampel Pavilion on Sunday. And like the last time, the offense was in high gear in an 85-67 win over East Carolina to continue the recent upswing in their play.
The most significant moment of UConn’s 67-41 demolition of UCF on Sunday came just 3 ½ minutes in. That’s when Amida Brimah returned to action for the first time since December 12th. Whether it was a coincidence or not, lots of the Huskies moving pieces looked better.