In dominating fashion, the Connecticut Huskies won another National Championship by defeating San Diego State in the Finals by a 76-59 count.
Nobody was able to even come close to getting the Huskies during this NCAA Tournament. Few may be able to get them in the future, either. Connecticut is back. Back as a national powerhouse. Back as a program that will be a Final Four contender for years to come.
Head coach Danny Hurley is the driving force behind UConn’s resurgence. And it makes sense. Basketball is this guy’s life. He is the son of Hall of Fame high school coach Bob Hurley Sr., and brother of two-time national champion and NBA lottery pick Bobby Hurley, who is now coaching at Arizona State.
Hurley won the title with a young roster. Freshmen Donovan Clingan and Alex Karaban look like potential stars and the program has the fourth-ranked recruiting class in the country, according to 247 Sports, coming in.
This only feels like the beginning at Connecticut.
Then There Is Alabama
Lots of positive news for UConn during this year’s NCAA Tournament. Not so much for Alabama who entered the tourney as the number one seed.
Negativity has plagued the program since it became obvious that it handled the Brandon Miller situation poorly.
Miller, the team’s best player and a projected top-five NBA draft pick, was involved in a murder that occurred on Jan. 16. It was revealed through police testimony in court that Miller was connected to the murder of Jamea Harris, who was visiting her boyfriend and cousin at the University of Alabama. Allegedly, Miller transported former teammate Darius Miles’ gun that police say was used in the killing.
The school somehow was able to keep the story out of the news for close to a month prior to the court hearing. After it became a national story, Crimson Tide head coach Nate Oats made a spectacle of himself. He spoke of saying he can’t control what his players do after practice and that Miller was just in the ‘just in the wrong spot at the wrong time” He later apologized for his remarks while insisting he wasn’t trying to downplay the loss of a woman’s life. Miles, a reserve on the team, was immediately kicked off the team. But Miller did not receive any kind of punishment.
Oats’ team clearly made light of the woman’s death a week after the story came to light. While the starters were being introduced at a home game, a reserve player mockingly patted Miller down like he was a criminal.
Classless behavior from a program who has a coach who admitted he can’t control his team.
Basketball justice prevailed as San Diego State eliminated Alabama en-route to its own trek to the Finals. Miller was a non-factor.
Discipline is needed to win championships. This Crimson Tide clearly lacked it while UConn and San Diego State put theirs on full display.