RESULTS| STATS| HISTORY | MESSAGE BOARD | CONNECTICUT INSIDER
RECORD: - REGION: Phoenix SEED: 2|
COACH: Jim Calhoun CONFERENCE: American
Road to the Final Four ...................................................................................
|REGULAR SEASON STATISTICS
Will lose when ...
The Huskies don't take great care of the ball, and they don't shoot free throws well.
Famous Last Words
UConn is deep and talented and will have the best player on the floor in almost any game it plays. A legitimate NCAA title contender, if Okafor is healthy.
Complete team report
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TO THIS POINT
How They Got Here: Big East champions
Fewer teams had an easier path to the Sweet 16 than the Huskies. In its first-round game in Buffalo, Connecticut permitted No. 15 Vermont to score the game's first seven points before getting down to business. Emeka
Okafor, evidently over his previously sore back, helped limit the
Catamounts' Taylor Coppenrath, the country's third-leading scorer, to 12
points on 3-of-17 shooting, and UConn rolled to a 70-53 win.
Rested and barely tested, UConn in the second round faced a seventh-seeded
DePaul squad that had needed double overtime two nights earlier to oust
Dayton. The Huskies' depth and balance were on full display, with Ben Gordon
notching 18 points, Denham Brown 12, Taliek Brown 11, and Okafor 10, along
with 12 rebounds, and UConn smoked the Blue Demons, 72-55.
In Phoenix on Thursday, the Huskies will take on No. 6 Vanderbilt, which
scored a very impressive win over North Carolina State in the second round
Sunday. UConn's task will be to stop 6-10 Matt Freije, the SEC's scoring
leader. Paging Mr. Okafor ...
The Huskies were a consensus preseason No. 1 pick, but twice lost as the top-ranked team in the country to ACC teams (Georgia Tech and UNC). And, until winning the Big East tournament, UConn wasn't even a consensus pick as the best team in their own league. But even with Okafor missing the first two games in MSG, the Huskies reached the title game, where Okafor helped the Huskies to a one-point victory over Pittsburgh. UConn entered the Dance with an ailing Charlie Villanueva (ankle) and still not sure when Okafor's stress fracture will cause another case of back spasms. Ben Gordon was brilliant in the Big East tournament, breaking Allan Iverson's record for points scored.
PLAYER TO WATCH
Emeka Okafor | F/C | Junior
There are multiple reasons to watch Emeka Okafor. First, the Big East Player of the Year leads the Huskies in scoring, boards and blocks. Quick, strong and athletic, he dominates on both ends of the court. Secondly, keep an eye on his health. If back problems flare up, UConn's title hopes are in jeopardy.