Huskies Looking to Make History, Add to Program’s Legacy

'It’s really exciting to be a fan and get to see that and represent UConn'

UConn MBB bench celebrating during final four run

Coach Dan Hurley has led the Huskies to their first national championship game since 2014(UConn Athletics Photo)

This year’s UConn men’s basketball team is looking to make history on Monday night as the Huskies play for the NCAA Division I national championship – and add to the legacy of their storied program.

UConn takes on the San Diego State University Aztecs on Monday night at 9:20 p.m. EDT from Houston’s NRG Stadium. The Huskies had their fifth double-digit tournament win over Miami in Saturday’s semifinal, while the Aztecs needed a buzzer-beater to get by Florida Atlantic in the other semifinal.

The game will be televised on CBS Sports and heard on the UConn Sports Network from Learfield.

UConn Nation is ready for the game – from Houston, where UConn sold out its allotment of tickets, to Storrs, where Gampel Pavilion was packed for a game watch on Saturday night and will be again on Monday, to Alumni Watch Parties around the country.

Maria Luca and Lena Bosco in the SU
Maria Luca ’23 (NEAG), left, and Lena Bosco ’24 (NUR), right

“I am so excited, because we haven’t taken home a men’s championship title since 2014, so it’s really exciting that we might have another banner hanging up in Gampel soon,” says Lena Bosco ’24 (NUR), an Old Lyme native, who was at a quiet Student Union Food Court in Storrs on Sunday morning. “I am really excited for the team, they must be over the moon. They have been so dynamic and supreme this year. They work so well together on and off the court, they are like a family. You can just see it and how they work so well together.”

Bosco attended the game watch at Gampel Pavilion on Saturday night and plans to be there again on Monday. She was joined by her friend – Maria Luca ’23 (ED) from Palatine, Illinois.

“I grew up watching March Madness with my dad, so I always get excited this time of year,” says Luca. “In terms of this year, it’s really exciting. Our team has great unity which shows how really close they are. It’s really exciting to be a fan and get to see that and represent UConn.”

Both Bosco and Luca are aware of the excitement and passion that the Final Four can bring to a college campus and know that good behavior and safety are important.

“It so fun and the energy is exciting, but we are all on high alert right now,” says Bosco. “That is definitely on everyone’s mind. I didn’t see anything unsafe on Saturday, just a lot of excitement.”

Basketball with final four logo on it
(UConn Athletics Photo)

This year’s UConn squad is just the sixth team in the 64-team tournament era to win each of their NCAA games by 10-plus points to advance to the final game. Four of the previous five cut down the nets. The Huskies are also 16-0 in non-conference games this year, showing the strength of the Big East Conference.

From a historical perspective, a win on Monday night would give the Huskies their fifth national championship – all of them in the last 25 years. UConn would move into a tie for fourth place with the most national titles ever, joining Duke and Indiana. UCLA leads the way with 11, followed by Kentucky with eight, and North Carolina with six.

The five national championships since 1999 would easily lead the country, with North Carolina and Duke having three each during that time span.