No March Madness for University of Connecticut Men's Basketball


March 20, 2010--The UCONN campus looks uncharacteristically calm this March after the Men's basketball team failed to make the NCAA March Madness Tournament. Gampel Pavilion, the Huskies home basketball court, is typically surrounded by camera crews, reporters, and die-hard fans during this time of year.

Photo and article by Sebastian Gutierrez
The University Of Connecticut Huskies Men’s basketball team, who have successfully made it into the tournament 27 times, did not make it into the tournament this year. The Huskies were projected to have a fighting chance again this year for the championship title, but stunned the nation with an overall record of 18-15, and an in conference record of 7-11. With the loss of Hasheem Thabeet, who opted to leave the Huskies team as a junior to go to the NBA last year, and other players, like AJ Price, the Huskies suffered defensively; they were outscored by more then 10 points on numerous occasions.

Other basketball fans on campus blame it on the unfortunate health issues that forced Coach Jim Calhoun to take a leave of absence for a portion of the season. Brian Pollucci, a volunteer trainer of the team, said “The team’s demeanor, during practice and games, changed dramatically with Calhoun’s absence.” The team has won two NCAA championships and six Big East championships with Jim Calhoun as head coach.

Students around campus have lost all interest in the March Madness tournament this year; some say they have yet to watch a game and others find it difficult to even fill out a bracket without having the option of penciling in the UCONN huskies as National Champions.

John Michaels, a senior member of the UCONN band and a dedicated basketball fan, says “The overall feeling on campus that is normally present during the March tournament is completely gone. March is normally my favorite month at UCONN. This year, it is just a drag.”

The University of Connecticut is immensely proud of their basketball team. This off season they will be forced to dedicate more time on recruits; the team suffered from outside the 3-point line this year, and is looking for some skilled shooters for the upcoming season.