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After a five-year absence, UConn returns to the NCAA Tournament

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STORRS, contact. (AP) – UConn’s rise to national prominence was a big step forward when the Huskies were announced as No. 7 at this year’s NCAA Tournament.

UConn (15-7), which has won four national titles since 1999, is returning to the tournament for the 34th time, but the first since losing to Kansas in the second round of the 2015-16 season.

The Huskies are expected to play No. 10 in Maryland on Saturday. UConn won its last national championship in 2014, also as the seventh seed.

“That’s the time when we’re thriving,” said freshman James Ames Bocknight on Sunday. “This is our time of year, we just want to go out there, show a show, make the fans proud.”

Haskeri had 30 consecutive winning seasons before going 16-17 in 2016-17. This was followed by a series of transfers, the revelation of NCAA violations, and the dismissal of coach K. Allley.

Dan Hurley was hired by Rhode Island, where he picked up a plan that ran 7-23 seasons before his arrival, the last two years of a և 51-18 record in two consecutive NCAA games.

He said on Sunday that taking UConn was like buying a car and then opening the hood and finding things were worse than looking.

“I love these reconstructions,” he said. “I like this work in the field of coaching, program reconstruction. “It’s great to think about where we were a few years ago.”

Last year, the Huskies had their first winning season in four years, finishing 19-12, winning five games in a row when the epidemic ended.

Season’s returned to the Big East after spending seven years at the American Gymnastics Conference this season.

They started the season 5-1, but lost to Boknight (19 points per game) from an elbow injury in a January victory over Market. The team went 4-4, while the second-year star was off the field, but went 6-2 since his return.

They had won five consecutive selections, winning the Big East, before losing to Creighton 59-56 in the semifinals on Friday. The Bluejays have handed over three of their seven losses to the Huskies this season.

Bownight, who missed several key shots at the end of the game, said he spent a lot of time in his hotel room in the dark over the weekend, looking at the ceiling.

Harley told his star that he did not need to wear a superhero cloak during the NCAA tournament, he had to let the games come to him.

And while Booknut says he understands that, he also wants to show what he can do on the big stage.

“I know I beat a lot of people that night, I’m just ready,” he said. “I’m ready to go out there, perform, play the way everyone knows I can play.”

UConn և Maryland has NCAA history. In the 1995 Regional Semifinals, UConn defeated Maryland 99-89, and Terps defeated the Huskies 90-82 in the 2002 Regional Semifinals to win the program’s only NCAA title.

UConn will try to earn the fifth, but at the moment is happy to just come back.

“In college basketball, it’s even more exciting when UConn is up-to-date, really, really good, playing in March,” said Hurley. “It’s a university-state that really loves its basketball team.”

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More AP College basketball coverage. Https://apnews.com/hub/college-basketball և Updated parentheses: https://apnews.com/hub/ncaa-mens-bracket

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