UConn #7 in East Region, faces # 10 Saint Joe's on Thursday in Buffalo.
STORRS: The UConn (No 7, 26-8) men get to stay on the East Coast for their opening round NCAA Tournament game when they travel to Buffalo, New York to take on St Joseph (No 10, 24-9).
After a long wait that saw only one team, Louisville (ranked #4 in the Midwest Regional), picked before the last round in the East, the Huskies, who fell to a seventh seed, will take on Saint Joe’s who come in ranked as a 10 seed.
Cincinnati (a 5 seed) and Memphis (an 8 seed), join the Huskies in the East but SMU, under the guidance of Larry Brown, did not make the cut.
The American Athletic Conference placed four teams in the Tournament but didn’t seem to impress the Selection Committee in general.
Louisville has been playing some of the best basketball in the land over the last month and was coming off the first ever AAC Conference Tournament championship after their 10-point win over UConn on Saturday night.
The Huskies had been thought to be perhaps a 6 seed but their inconsistent performance over the last month coupled with bad losses to Houston and two to SMU this year hurt their chances at seeding higher.
There is a bright side though. This year, a year removed from being banned from postseason action, the Huskies season continues and at least they are not at West.
Being back in the dance has been the team’s objective since starting the season and their 26-8 record shows it was a productive campaign.
The Hawks (No. 10 at come in flying high after winning the Atlantic 10 Championship on Sunday by a 65-61 score over VCU at The Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn.
They are led by 6’2” senior guard Langston Galloway who tops the score sheet with a 17.7 ppg average.
Galloway is a fan of the three ball, having launched 237 and connected on 104.
6’8” senior forward Ronald Roberts averages 14.4 ppg.
The Hawks shot almost 47 percent from the floor this season, 38 percent from beyond the arch.
Feee throw shooting has been a challenge as the Hawks landed at 64 percent for the season while averaging a little over 71 points per game with an average of 35 rebounds.
By contrast, UConn is led by AAC Player of the Year Shabazz Napier with a 17.4 ppg average followed by DeAndre Daniels with 12.5.
UConn averages nearly 72 points per game but their offense has been sputtering of late.
Neils Giffey leads the team with a stellar 53-101 three point shooting average and the Huskies pull down an average of 35 boards themselves.
If the Huskies get by the Hawks, they would face the winner of the No.2 Villanova/UW-Milwaukee on Saturday in Buffalo.
A year removed from already making spring break plans, no matter where the UConn team went, they were going to be happy being back at the dance.