Wednesday, April 09, 2014

UConn Huskies and Storrs, CT now basketball Mecca of the Universe with 13 national titles


A little village in northeast Connecticut called Storrs with barely 10,000 population has slowly and surely become the basketball capital of America dominating the NCAA men's and women's programs for all of the 21st century.  Located in that quiet little village is mighty UConn, the University of Connecticut with 30,000 students, three times the population of the entire village.

So move over Kentucky, UCLA, Duke, Kansas, North Carolina, Tennessee and all the other basketball powerhouses for the past century there are new kids on the block and unlike their huge predecessors, UConn does not just dominate men's or women's basketball, they dominate both.

The UConn women set the standard under the guidance of Geno Auriemmce, the Italian born coach who last night passed the legendary Pat Summit of Tennessee by winning his 9th NCAA national championship at UConn, leaving him just one behind the dean of all college coaches, John Wooden of UCLA whose 1960's and '70's UCLA men's teams won 10 national titles.

This year marked the 10th anniversary since UConn won both the men's and women's championships the same year, 2004, becoming the first college in history to earn that honor and this year, 2014, the Huskies did it again.

In fact since Geno Auriemmce won his first championship in 1995, in the 21st century he has won 8 more while the men won their 1st in 1999 and have won 3 more in the 21st century.  The total the two programs have now won is 13 making it the college with the most NCAA basketball champions in history.

Before the double win this year UConn was tied with UCLA for most with 11 titles while Kentucky (men) and Tennessee (women) each have 8.  UConn now stands alone in the history of the NCAA national championship with 13 titles.  Not bad for a school that has won all of them in the past 20 years.

In woman's basketball the sometimes brash and sometimes lovable Geno is now on a pedestal by himself and not since Frank Sinatra has an Italian American captured the heart and soul of the 5 million Italian immigrants to America he represents, and just remember, Geno was born in Italy.

What has he done?  He is on the verge of becoming the coach with the most NCAA championships in history.  He has the l0ngest winning streak, 90, in history.  Then there are five perfect seasons.

Thanks to him UConn has won more basketball championships than any other college in history.  And he even brings his mother to basketball games.

What better example for the future women leaders of America than Geno's motto of "La famiglia รจ per sempre".

Then there is Kevin Ollie in just his second year as head coach taking over a program on suspension that could not even go to the tournament last year and leading them to the Promised Land the first chance he had as head coach.  His story could also be the stuff of legends.

Wake up America, the new basketball mecca is here and it goes by the unlikely name Storrs.

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