Published April 10. 2014 4:00AM
Congratulations to the University of Connecticut's men's and women's basketball programs in winning the NCAA national championships. In 2004, UConn became the first school to win both basketball titles in the same year. Ten years later, they become the first basketball programs to do it twice, while no other university has yet to do it once.
On Monday - in a game played in an Arlington, Texas football stadium in front of nearly 80,000 fans - the men's squad defeated Kentucky 60-54 to win its fourth national championship. It was a wild and wonderful ride to the title, the men's squad overcoming a lowly seventh seeding to go all the way.
In the process the team survived by winning its opening tournament game in overtime, then won four in a row as underdogs against higher-seeded teams before defeating another favorite - Kentucky - to take the crown. It is an impressive achievement for the players and former UConn player and second-year Coach Kevin Ollie.
On the women's side, Coach Geno Auriemma's team dominated opponents for an entire season, finishing with a record-tying 40-0 record, never seriously threatened in any game. UConn faced an undefeated Notre Dame team in the title game - a first for a national college basketball championship final- but it became clear early on that the only reason the Fighting Irish were undefeated is that they had not yet played the Huskies. UConn dominated, winning 79-58.
The national title was the ninth for the program and Coach Auriemma. Only Coach John Wooden, during the UCLA dynasty in the men's division, had more with 10.
A state celebration is in order. It takes place with a parade for the two teams at 4 p.m. Sunday in Hartford.