After taking home the Big East championship, one thing is for certain: No. 7 UConn is peaking at the right time.
The Huskies took down Villanova 67-56 yesterday to take home the Big East tournament crown. They now will enter the NCAA tournament with momentum they have been trying to build on all season. It has all culminated in this moment where they find themselves poised to make a deep postseason run this month.
“Well, we talked about it before the game that given everything we’ve been through,” UConn’s head coach Geno Auriemma said. “I think it gave us a little more resiliency, a little more strength. I think we got a little more tougher as the season went on. And it showed up these three days. These kids know when it’s March time, they’ve been in a couple of Final Fours. I think there’s a different vibe in our team.”
One thing that’ll help the vibes in the locker room is getting Azzi Fudd back from injury. The sophomore missed an extended period of time with an injury but has rejoined the team just in time to make a NCAA title run.
“We’re talented, but we’re disciplined and dedicated to win,” Edwards said. “It speaks to our standard and to what we are as a program and we’re a winning program. That’s what we did today.”
Health woes have put a strain on the team‘s depth all season. From losing Paige Bueckers and Ice Brady for the season along with Auriemma and associate head coach Chris Dailey dealing with their respective health concerns, the Huskies have been challenged in ways they have not been used to in previous years.
The perseverance has paid off and Auriemma credited the team for how it handled every blow they have come face to face with.
“So many things have happened on and off the court this past season personally, team-wise, everything, that to get to this point you want to close that book,” Auriemma said. “And now start a brand new one starting next Sunday. That book ended the right way. A lot of acts, lot of tragedies, ups and downs. The book ended the right way. Now it’s time for a new one.”