Prior to Sunday, it had been a while since the last time the UConn Huskies managed to book a spot in the Sweet 16 round. With a win over the weekend against the Saint Mary's Gaels, 70-55, in the second round, Dan Hurley and the Huskies have successfully ended that drought. At the same time, just knowing that they are going to the regional semifinals makes Hurley think about less of a particular basketball trauma he had when he was still the head coach of the Rhode Island Rams.
“Maybe I won't have as many nightmares about that because that [Oregon] game, that haunts me,” Dan Hurley said after UConn took down the Gaels (h/t Michael Rothstein of ESPN). “It has haunted me. And now, I'll think about it less.”
Making the Sweet 16 stage of the NCAA tournament can also be interpreted as a good sign for UConn when viewed from the fact that in 2014, they went all the way to win the national championship despite being a No. 7 seed. Kevin Ollie called the shots for that team that featured the likes of Shabazz Napier, DeAndre Daniels, and Ryan Boatright.
This time, UConn is being led by the trio of Adama Sanogo, Jordan Hawkins, and Tristen Newton. Sanogo came up huge for the Huskies in the second round, dropping 24 points with eight rebounds, while Newton and Hawkins had 13 and 12 points, respectively.
It's not about to get any easier for UConn, as standing in its way next is the Eric Musselman's Arkansas Razorbacks, who just took down the then-reigning national champs Kansas Jayhawks in the second round.