Skip to content

Shabazz Napier thinks UConn could make a ‘crazy run’ if allowed in the NCAA Tournament

Feb 22, 2013, 7:25 PM EDT

Shabazz Napier

Following Thursday night’s 73-66 overtime win against Cincinnati, UConn improved to 8-5 in Big East Conference play. The Huskies are only two games out of first place. However, a postseason ban for 2013 strands the Huskies in Storrs once the Madness begins.

In two weeks, UConn’s season ends in a regular season finale against Providence. The Huskies have over-exceeded expectations this year, under first year head coach Kevin Ollie, leaving UConn only imagining what chaos they could bring to March.

“I’m just sad because if this team got in the NCAA Tournament, we could  make a crazy run,” Shabazz Napier told Don Amore of The Harford Courant. “We’re so together. We’re playing with so much passion. The NCAA Tournament is missing a great team.”

Once again UConn proved its toughness Thursday in Hartford with an overtime win over Cincinnati. This has been the case since opening the season with a win over then fourteenth-ranked Michigan State. It’s continued into the New Year with wins in South Bend and knocking off soon to be ex-Big East rival Syracuse.

Napier is the team leader — who also dropped 11 points in overtime — and knows better than anyone what a ‘crazy run’ looks like. The junior guard was a freshman when UConn finished ninth in the Big East, and went on to win the national title.

UConn has been resilient all year, being outrebounded 44-28 and still beating Cincy is just the latest example. Though some of UConn’s play could come from not being able to play in postseason tournaments. The Huskies adopted the the spoiler label and have carried that chip on their shoulder this season.

The Huskies are a talented team with Napier playing his way into postseason award conversations, along with the play of Ryan Boatright, and the emergence of freshman Omar Calhoun and second-year man DeAndre Daniels. UConn doing all with an undersized, now undermanned front line with Enosch Wolf  out.

The Huskies might have a crazy run in them, but we’ll never see it.

Terrence is also the lead writer at NEHoopNews.com and can be followed on Twitter: @terrence_payne

Latest Posts
  1. Auburn strikes in 2015 with a four-star wing

    Aug 22, 2014, 9:00 PM EDT

    Bruce Pearl AP

    Auburn made a recruiting move on Friday night with the addition of Danjel Purifoy.

  2. Missouri has a tough non-conference slate in Kim Anderson’s first year

    Aug 22, 2014, 7:30 PM EDT

    AP AP

    Missouri has a fair amount of quality teams on its non-conference schedule.

  3. Oregon State guard improving in hospital after collapsing in practice

    Aug 22, 2014, 6:10 PM EDT

    Jesse Skoubo/Corvallis Gazette-Times Jesse Skoubo/Corvallis Gazette-Times

    An Oregon State incoming guard is improving in the hospital after collapsing earlier in the week.

  4. College Basketball Talk’s Recruiting Roundup

    Aug 22, 2014, 5:05 PM EDT

    (Kelly Kline/Under Armour) (Kelly Kline/Under Armour)

    College Basketball Talk’s recruiting column explores the week’s topics.

  5. Former Memphis center officially enrolls at Tennessee

    Aug 22, 2014, 3:20 PM EDT

    Getty Images Getty Images

    Dominic Woodson is now officially a Tennessee Volunteer.

  6. Report: Boston College lands Southern Miss graduate transfer

    Aug 22, 2014, 2:37 PM EDT

    Johnathan Williams III, Aaron Brown AP

    Aaron Brown averaged 9.9 points per game and shot 39 percent from three last season, and he’ll be eligible to play immediately.

  7. NCAA takes next step in appeal of Ed O’Bannon lawsuit ruling

    Aug 22, 2014, 1:28 PM EDT

    NCAA_Logo AP

    Having stated their intention of appealing the ruling in the Ed O’Bannon lawsuit, the NCAA filed a notice of appeal on Thursday.

  8. Texas A&M lands important 2015 front court commitment

    Aug 22, 2014, 12:07 PM EDT

    D1Circuit.com D1Circuit.com

    Five-star center Tyler Davis becomes Texas A&M’s first commitment, and he’s an important addition for Billy Kennedy.

  9. Michigan freshman discusses his return to the basketball court (VIDEO)

    Aug 22, 2014, 11:15 AM EDT

    Austin Hatch checking into the game for the first time (Michigan Athletics) Austin Hatch checking into the game for the first time (Michigan Athletics)

    Austin Hatch, who saw his first action in a Michigan uniform on Saturday, discussed his return to the court on The Today Show.

  10. Makeover of Butler’s Hinkle Fieldhouse nearing completion

    Aug 22, 2014, 10:30 AM EDT

    Brandon Miller Brandon Miller

    Upon completion, Hinkle Fieldhouse will have a brand new look while preserving the building’s storied past.

  11. Big Ten releases conference schedule: Michigan, Wisconsin meet January 24

    Aug 22, 2014, 9:44 AM EDT

    John Beilein AP

    The conference tournament will now span five days, with there being a doubleheader on Wednesday, March 11 (11 seed vs. 14 seed, 12 seed vs. 13 seed).

  12. Four-star combo forward decommits from Ohio State

    Aug 21, 2014, 11:06 PM EDT

    mitchell

    More than two months after his older brother left the football program, Mickey Mitchell has decided to decommit from Ohio State.

  13. Power forward becomes Missouri’s first 2015 commitment

    Aug 21, 2014, 10:14 PM EDT

    Kim Anderson AP

    6-foot-7 forward Kevin Puryear was a point forward for his high school team last season.

  14. Creighton’s logos draw ire of Major League Baseball franchise

    Aug 21, 2014, 8:45 PM EDT

    Creighton University Creighton University

    The Toronto Blue Jays aren’t thrilled with Creighton filing an application to trademark its logo, which was unveiled last September.

  15. Bounceback season lands formerly maligned Big 12 coach an extension

    Aug 21, 2014, 7:21 PM EDT

    Baylor Bears v Texas Longhorns Getty Images

    Rick Barnes entered last season on nearly every pundit’s “hot seat” rankings, only to turn things around and win 24 games.

  16. Little League phenom has dreams of playing for Geno Auriemma

    Aug 21, 2014, 5:55 PM EDT

    Mo'ne Davis Mo'ne Davis

    Mo’ne Davis is currently focused on winning a LLWS title, but down the line she really wants to run the point at UConn.

  17. Former Temple great returns to join Fran Dunphy’s coaching staff

    Aug 21, 2014, 4:37 PM EDT

    Getty Images Getty Images

    Aaron McKie ranks sixth on Temple’s all-time scoring list, and he played 13 seasons in the NBA.

  18. Kevin Ollie wisely adds series with Ohio State, Arizona

    Aug 21, 2014, 3:57 PM EDT

    Kevin Ollie AP

    UConn’s league schedule is only getting weaker. They need to beef up in the non-conference.

  19. John Calipari can be a great coach with being an x’s-and-o’s mastermind

    Aug 21, 2014, 3:19 PM EDT

    Getty Images Getty Images

    A quick explanation of why John Calipari can be a great coach without being a great x’s-and-o’s coach.