Friday Night From Houston

by Matthew Farrell on April 1, 2011

in UConn Fans,UConn Men's Basketball

With less than 24 hours remaining until the national semifinals, fans of all four teams were well represented in Houston throughout the day today. My flight arrived in San Antonio late Thursday night and I managed to make the 3 hour drive through the Lone Star State today to catch UConn’s open practice at Reliant Stadium.

Not many would have seen this image coming for UConn fans a month ago.

The practice was pretty light in general, but it was good to see the team assimilating into the unique atmosphere–the largest buildings we’ve played in this year aren’t even a third of the size of this massive arena. One of the highlights of practice was Charles Okwandu hitting about 10 straight free throws in a speed drill from the stripe. Coach Calhoun chatted with Jim Nantz after the game and seemed in a very carefree mood–everyone seems to be happy but simply anxious for this game to get under way.

Kentucky fans are everywhere in town, as most of us would expect. However, as I inferred earlier I was very impressed by the turnout for Butler and VCU as well. It will be interesting to see who those fans choose to side with in game 2 since they’ll play a valuable role in the way the crowd leans. Given that Kentucky is considered the favorite by most “experts” and media personalities, hopefully fans of the mid-majors will be pulling for UConn.

Not much else to report from Texas. I’m done breaking down things like how the surroundings will effect Kentucky’s superb 3 point shooting and whether Shabazz Napier will come off the bench before the first TV timeout. This is by no means the de facto title game–Butler and VCU are playing far too well for that declaration to be made–but it certainly has to be a dream late night semi for the NCAA.

The best player in college basketball against one of the best overall programs.

It’s go time.

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Nick April 2, 2011 at 7:57 pm

Knight blew his three point load against UNC. He is a terrible shooter. Terrence Jones is an even worse shooter. Kentucky is athletic. That means nothing. Uconn will have best freshman on the court. If Oriachi just rebounds, plays defense, makes layups, we will be fine. It would be nice if Coombs hit a couple shots. What happened to the guy who scored 20+ two games in a row? I expect uconn to win by 15. And people keep saying knight is straigt A student with 3.1 gpa. Folks, 3.1 at Kentucky with the help he gets is not impressive, plus a 3.1 gpa is 4B’s and 1A. Don’t think I will be having him do my taxes anytime soon.

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