When naming the top college basketball programs in the country, one of the first names to come to mind will be the Connecticut Huskies. Since the 1950s, the Huskies have been a consistent presence in March and often times dominated their competition as they play deep into the month. With countless players moving on to the NBA and legendary head coaches like Jim Calhoun, it is no wonder that the Huskies have made over 30 appearances in the NCAA Tournament. The accolades continue for the Connecticut basketball program as they have reached the Final Four over four times and have won four national championship titles.
The Huskies first made the NCAA Tournament in 1951 and have been a constant presence in the NCAA Tournament after that. However, Connecticut became a powerhouse program when they hired Calhoun in 1986. The Huskies were unable to reach the tournament during the 1980s, but Calhoun quickly turned the program around as UConn not only made it back to the Big Dance in 1990, but they advanced to the Elite Eight. UConn advanced to the Elite Eight two more times before they finally got over the hump in 1999. Calhoun led the Huskies to their first Final Four and eventually their first appearance in the national championship. Connecticut defeated the Duke Blue Devils 77-74 to win their first title in program history. Richard “Rip” Hamilton played an integral role during the 1999 title run.
Connecticut Huskies Recent NCAA Tourament History
In 2014, under head coach Kevin Ollie who took over for legendary head coach Jim Calhoun, led the Huskies to the NCAA Tournament as the number 7 seed. UConn then went on an improbable run as they defeated the number 2 seed Villanova Wildcats, number 3 seed Iowa State Cyclones, number 4 seed Michigan State Spartans, and the number 1 seed Florida Gators on their way to the national championship game. The Huskies faced off against the number 8 seed Kentucky Wildcats who made their own impressive run to the title game and won 60-54 for their fourth national championship title.