Although Connecticut is a small state, it makes a big splash in college basketball. For the fourth time, both the men’s and women’s basketball teams at UConn have made it to the Final Four.
This marks the 11th time in the history of the NCAA that the men’s and women’s teams from the same school have made the Final Four. However, no other school but UConn has done it more than once.
Coming into this basketball season, dual championship teams seemed extremely unlikely for the Huskies because of the status of the men’s team. The team fell apart in disgrace last year after UConn was barred from postseason play due to poor academic performance. A lot of players jumped ship. However, one key player stayed — Shabazz Napier, whose dependable shooting on the court is a main reason for the team’s victories and advancement.
The women’s team is another story altogether. It would be surprising if they didn’t make it to the Final Four. The team has a huge history of accomplishments and achievements. They’ve won 8 NCAA Division I national championships, advanced to 15 Final Fours, and won more than 30 Big East regular season and tournament championships.
The Huskies women also have the longest winning streak in NCAA college basketball (men’s or women’s) history, at 90 games. They went 39-0 during the 2008–09 season, winning their 6th national championship, and followed it up in 2009–10 with another 39-0 season and their 7th national title. Their winning streak ended at 90 games when they lost to Stanford on Dec. 30, 2010.
The women achieved all this with a history of high academic performance and recognition as scholar-athletes. Perhaps the women know their future does not lie in pro-basketball so they take advantage of the educational opportunities provided by their college scholarships.
In any event, for now, Connecticut is the little state that roared.