For two days in a row students from the University of Connecticut celebrated a national championship brought to campus by the lady Huskies basketball team, only 24 hours after the men’s team won the March Madness tournament and became national champions as well. After the men’s basketball team had a pep rally for their championship win on Tuesday, the UConn women’s arrived wednesday to an energetic and still lively crowd. As amazing as a feat for both men and women to win the championship of their respected sport in the same season, this is not the first time UConn has accomplished it. The two men and women’s team succeeded in winning their tournaments a decade ago in the year 2004. The NCAA basketball world has been put top side up as the Huskies are on the verge of complete domination of the program.
The women’s team won its ninth national championship against rival Notre Dame in an impressive fashion. Winning the game 79-58, the team also completed a 40-0 season in Nashville. Coach Geno Auriemma surpassed Pat Summit for most national championship wins as coach. Auriemma expressed his gratitude towards the fans who supported the team throughout the course of the season. The 60 year old coach entered his 29th season determined on a championship. Auriemma claims winning the title was not for him, but for his players to experience it. Notre Dame could simply not keep up with the lady Huskies as coach of the lady Irish Muffet McGraw compared the team to the Miami Heat.
While the women team dominated their way into another win, the men’s team proved to have a much more difficult time. Garnished with the seventh seed of the March Madness tournament, the UConn men were able to survive close games and advance into the championship game. The Huskies played a close wire to wire match-up with Kentucky, narrowly winning with a score of 60-54. Shabazz Napier as well as many other players were adamant and very vocal after the win, exclaiming their excitement for being back in championship light after being banned from the prestigious tournament the season prior. Capturing their fourth men’s championship in school history, the men’s team tied for fifth most out of all Division I schools. While this is the second for Napier, this is the first for the men’s coach Kevin Ollie in only his second year. With eyes and the world watching Ollie, he helped the Huskies top NCAA bests and has been not only a great basketball coach, but a good manager of his team bring the team back from the academic ineligibility ban.
The town of Storrs, where the university of Connecticut is located, has been in nonstop celebration from the back to back victories. Forward Stefanie Dolson was more than surprised when returning to here usually quiet town. Dolson stated how Storrs was not usually as exciting as it was the past few days. The fans are indeed excited and beyond ecstatic for both men’s and women’s basketball. As the world changes for this generation, Huskies has taken over Duke, North Carolina, Kansas and all the other top tier NCAA schools as the most prominent and dominating basketball program of the nation.
Commentary by Hector Carrion