The University of Connecticut reminded the world they are a powerhouse in American college basketball.
The Huskies claimed both the men’s and women’s National Collegiate Athletic Association Division One national championships this week. Connecticut is the only school to have achieved the feat twice, with its initial triumph being in 2004. Those titles — a record ninth for the women and fourth for the men — delivered a boost to the school, adding millions in fundraising while boosting publicity, admissions and recruiting efforts.
Connecticut’s male players were far from dominant this season, having a modest seventh seed for the tournament after amassing a 32-8 record with star player Shabazz Napier. The Huskies would then proceed to take out major programs like the Villanova Wildcats, Michigan State Spartans and Florida Gators in the Final Four before defeating the Kentucky Wildcats, 60-54, in the title game. On the ladies side, coach Geno Auriemma led a team that is now undefeated through 46 games through the season, culminating their campaign with a 79-58 win over the University of Notre Dame in the final.
Ultimately, the school has a history of producing stars like Ray Allen and Rebecca Lobo. Based on this year’s triumphs, the Huskies will be racking up more titles in the future.