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Coming off an upset of No. 6 Syracuse, UConn is bursting with confidence.
The Huskies (17-6, 7-4) are in the thick of the Big East regular season title race. They have seven regular season games to state their case.
Since the Big East coaches picked them to place ninth in the preseason poll in October, they’ve been highly motivated to prove everyone wrong.
“We’re not surprised,” sophomore Ryan Boatright said of his team’s success. “We knew a lot of people doubted us and we had a lot of critics. We knew we had a lot of people that wanted to see us do badly this year. So that really motivated us.”
For the Huskies to achieve their goal of winning the title, they’ll likely need to win their four remaining home games, starting with Saturday’s noon time meeting with Villanova (15-10, 6-6). They also have three road games left.
About 2,000 tickets remained as of Friday afternoon.
UConn has won five of its last six games.
“We’re playing excellent basketball right now and hopefully it keeps up…,” coach Kevin Ollie said. “We’re going to play hard and be like a Connecticut team and play with pride and understand, like I said in the press conference (Wednesday), they can’t ban us from loving each other. We’ve just going to continue to do the same thing.”
If UConn wins today, it would equal last year's Big East win total. The 2011-12 Huskies went 8-10.
Check out the attached video for more of Ollie’s post-practice comments Friday.
Today’s American Athletic Conference Championship semifinal doubleheader is underway here at the XL Center in Hartford. A crowd in the 12,000-13,000 range is expected for the UConn-Tulsa game. Tip-off time is 5 p.m.