Tim Boyle will vie for the UConn starting quarterback job in camp this summer.

It starts and ends at quarterback. It always has for the UConn football team.

UConn's never had consistent quarterback plan -- a decade and counting in fact -- and head coach Bob Diaco got his first taste of UConn instability last year in game 1 when his starter Casey Cochran had to retire from the sport after a concussion.

Diaco's plans went up in smoke and by the end of the year Tim Boyle, who was destined to redshirt, started the final three games of the season.

Where UConn goes in 2015 will start with camp. Diaco expects to have an announcement on the starter early on in camp and the quicker the better for the Huskies.

Bryant Shirreffs, who came on as a transfer last summer from N.C. State, finds himself as the leader at quarterback going into training camp. Boyle, who had offseason surgery on his legs, looked spry and athletic in camp. For good measure there is freshman Tyler Davis and JUCO product Garrett Anderson. 

Going into camp, it's Shirreffs and Boyle's position and everyone else well behind. So which way will UConn go?

Shirreffs is the favorite after a spring practice where he did two things that impressed Diaco.

Bryant Shirreffs, seen here playing for NC State, has the edge in the quarterback battle at UConn.

The first was his ability to run and make plays as a scrambler and throw on the run. With a suspect offensive line, UConn needs a quarterback who can make plays and create time with his feet. Shirreffs, 6-1, 216-pounds, is a big quarterback who can run. Diaco likened him last year to BYU's Taysom Hill -- in style, not ability -- and believes that Shirreffs can take pressure off the line with his ability out of the pocket.

Diaco raved about Shirreffs' running ability after the Blue and White Spring Game in April.

The key will be allowing his instincts to take over.

"I think you have to be  careful you don't coach him too much. It is cautionary," Diaco said. "He is a pocket aware player. If we meddle in that, we will over coach him."

The second aspect of Shirreffs value is an ability to not turn the ball over. UConn's Achilles Heel under Boyle's stewardship was turnovers and putting the ball at risk. Shirreff not only had a nearly clean spring practice sessions, he also limited opportunities for the defense to make a turnover. It's not necessarily about interceptions, it 's about putting the ball in a place where it could be intercepted that is what coaches want to avoid.  That ability to manage the game, be accurate and safe is what put Shirreffs ahead. the downside for Shirreffs is he hasn't played in over a year and only saw scant few plays in his one year at N.C. State. The Huskies, if they go with Shirreffs, are essentially breaking in another new quarterback on the job.

Boyle is the other candidate, and the rising junior from Middlefield, Conn. remains the most talented thrower on the team. Boyle's physically attributes are without question. He can throw the ball with anyone. What hasn't caught up to the college game is decision-making, accuracy and a feel for the game. Boyle's struggled on the short and intermediate throws and in two years  has thrown for 856 yards, one touchdown and an incredible 11 interceptions.

Boyle looked more athletic in the spring as he recovered from leg injuries, but his decision-making and touch remain a concern. The talent is there, but his career is half over and the plan when he came to UConn was to have him further along at this point.

After Shirreffs and Boyle, Davis and Anderson are unlikely challengers. If the Huskies are forced to go to Davis or Anderson, something went terribly wrong with Boyle and Shirreffs, and that's something the Huskies don't want to consider.

Davis' ability is well-known coming out of Long Island and enrolling in the spring. Davis is a dual-threat runner at 6-4 and has a good arm and has all the tools Diaco is looking for. He needs time, and this season would be best sent studying and learning the college game.

Anderson was a backup in JUCO last season out in California and is another running style quarterback, though on the small side at 6-foot, 215-pounds. He does provide depth and is experienced as a backup having served to at Laney JC in California last season.

The optimal goal is that Shirreffs or Boyle come alive and Davis and Anderson can redshirt and gain experience.

Shirreffs may not throw it like Boyle, but at the end of the day accuracy and managing the game are what the Huskies need.

Expect the quarterback to be decided early on in camp.

Whatever quarterback does that will get the first crack at the job.

If UConn's history has shown us anything, it doesn't mean the backup won't play.

Tags: Football, UCONN
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Jan 27, 2018; Storrs, CT, USA; Connecticut Huskies guard/forward Megan Walker (3) on the court against the Tulane Green Wave in the second half at Gampel Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports (David Butler II)
Jan 27, 2018; Storrs, CT, USA; Connecticut Huskies guard/forward Megan Walker (3) on the court against the Tulane Green Wave in the second half at Gampel Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports (David Butler II)

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) Megan Walker scored 15 of her 19 points in the first half and No. 4 UConn blew out Virginia 83-44 on Tuesday night.

Christyn Williams added 17 points for the Huskies (4-0), who extended their home winning streak to 96 games.

Kyla Irwin had a career-high 13 points and freshman Anna Makarut had her best game as a Husky with 10.

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Nelson-Ododa on Uconn's win 00:00:49
Olivia Nelson-Ododa talked to Maria Marino after UConn's 83-54 win. Nelson-Ododa scored 15 points with 10 rebounds and 4 assists.

UConn sophomore forward Olivia Nelson-Ododa talked to SNY's Maria Marino after the Huskies beat Temple 83-54.

"I'm just happy that we were able to come out and play more of our UConn style of basketball this game, and we were able to show that," Nelson-Ododa said.

She led the team with 15 points, 10 rebounds, and four assists in the win. Despite her strong stats, Nelson-Ododa knows how she can still improve.

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Nov 17, 2019; Storrs, CT, USA; Connecticut Huskies guard Christian Vital (1) prepares to shoot the ball past Florida Gators guard Scottie Lewis (23) in the first half at Harry A. Gampel Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports (David Butler II)
Nov 17, 2019; Storrs, CT, USA; Connecticut Huskies guard Christian Vital (1) prepares to shoot the ball past Florida Gators guard Scottie Lewis (23) in the first half at Harry A. Gampel Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports (David Butler II)

STORRS, Conn. (AP) Christian Vital scored 15 points and made a key steal at the end of the game as UConn upset No. 15 Florida 62-59 on Sunday.

Tyler Polley also scored 15 points and Josh Carlton added 13 for the Huskies (2-1) who led by five points at halftime and never trailed after intermission.

A layup by Florida's Keyontae Johnson with just over a minute to go cut the lead to 60-59, but those would be the last points the Gators scored.

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UConn rolls past Temple 83-54 00:01:58
UConn dominated Temple 83-54. The Huskies looked in control from start to finish in UConn's best offensive showing this season.

PHILADELPHIA (AP) Olivia Nelson-Ododa had a career-high 15 points, 10 rebounds and five blocks to lead No. 4 UConn to an 83-54 win over Temple on Sunday in the American Athletic Conference opener for both teams.

Christyn Williams scored 19 points and Megan Walker added 15 for the Huskies.

The game was being played so early in the schedule because UConn has four non-conference games against No. 1 Oregon, No. 2 Baylor, No. 6 South Carolina and Tennessee after Jan. 1 as well as an exhibition game against the U.S. national team on Jan.27. That made finding dates to play during the normal part of the conference schedule difficult. >> Read More

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Auriemma on Westbrook's denial 00:03:54
UConn Huskies women's head coach Geno Auriemma explains why he's very upset at Evina Westbrook's transfer denial from Tennessee.

Before the Lady Huskies took on Vanderbilt on the road Wednesday, UConn head coach Geno Auriemma didn't hold back his feelings about the failed transfer waiver of Evina Westbrook

Up until this point, Auriemma has been quiet on the subject, as the NCAA was still doing work to see if the Tennessee transfer was allowed immediate eligibility for this season. But, after the NCAA rejected the appeal from the Huskies, Auriemma let it all out.

He claimed that Westbrook's situation -- one he couldn't get into details on -- should have shown the NCAA that a transfer was needed when she joined the school last offseason. However, the NCAA didn't view things that why, and Auriemma cant' see why. 

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Mar 7, 2019; Storrs, CT, USA; Connecticut Huskies guard Christian Vital (1) reacts after his basket against Temple Owls guard Shizz Alston Jr. (10) in the first half at Gampel Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports (David Butler II)
Mar 7, 2019; Storrs, CT, USA; Connecticut Huskies guard Christian Vital (1) reacts after his basket against Temple Owls guard Shizz Alston Jr. (10) in the first half at Gampel Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports (David Butler II)

STORRS, Conn. (AP) Ryan Daly scored 30 points as Saint Joseph's held off UConn 96-87 on Wednesday night.

Rahim Moore added 22 points and Myles Douglas had 18 for the Hawks (2-1), who led by as many as 27-points in the first half and never trailed.

Christian Vital had 26 points for UConn (1-1) and Alterique Gilbert added 22 for the Huskies, who cut the deficit to three points in the second half before running out of gas.

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Jan 31, 2019; Louisville, KY, USA; Connecticut Huskies guard/forward Megan Walker (3) shoots against the Louisville Cardinals during the first half at KFC Yum! Center. Mandatory Credit: Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports (Jamie Rhodes)
Jan 31, 2019; Louisville, KY, USA; Connecticut Huskies guard/forward Megan Walker (3) shoots against the Louisville Cardinals during the first half at KFC Yum! Center. Mandatory Credit: Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports (Jamie Rhodes)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) Megan Walker scored 25 points, and the fourth-ranked UConn Huskies beat Vanderbilt 64-51 Wednesday night in the program's first game at Memorial Gym since 1992.

The Huskies (2-0) now have won six straight against Vanderbilt (2-1) after dropping the first two between these programs. This was much closer than last year when UConn beat Vanderbilt 80-42 at Mohegan Sun Arena.

Coach Geno Auriemma hadn't brought his Huskies to Memorial Gym since March 1992 when Vandy ended UConn's run in the second round of the NCAA Tournament a year after the first of its now 20 record Final Four berths. Even with former Vanderbilt guard Jasmine Lister now an Auriemma assistant, the reason for this visit was senior guard Crystal Dangerfield.

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UConn wins season opener 00:01:16
Coach Geno Auriemma, Christyn Williams and Olivia Nelson-Ododa comment on UConn's 72-61 win over Cal

Head coach Geno Auriemma has been around UConn long enough to know what to expect, but he was unsure what to make of how his 2019-20 team opened the season.

The slate started Sunday at Harry A. Gampel Pavilion in Storrs, Connecticut, with the No. 5 Huskies' 72-61 win over California -- the victory, ultimately, an expected result.

Between the production -- sophomore guard Christyn Williams led with 24 points, junior forward Megan Walker added 21 and senior guard Crystal Dangerfield dropped 14 -- Auriemma received just about what he thought his experienced trio would provide.

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UConn wins season opener 00:00:27
Christyn Williams scored 24 points and Megan Walker added 21 as UConn prevailed over Cal 72-61

STORRS, Conn. (AP) UConn coach Geno Auriemma said he's had teams play worse in opening games.

He's certainly had some play a lot better.

Christyn Williams scored 24 points and the fifth-ranked Huskies began their season Sunday with a closer-than-expected 72-61 win over California.

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Hurley likes UConn's attitude 00:00:49
UConn Huskies men's head coach Dan Hurley praised his team's aggressive attitude in the 2nd half to beat Sacred Heart 89-67.

The UConn men's basketball team got their season started on the right foot with a 89-67 win over Sacred Heart, but things got off to a rocky start.

The Huskies had a slow start and led by just three at halftime, before turning up the intensity in the second half.

"Just played with more urgency," head coach Dan Hurley said after the game. "After the three seasons that we're coming off of here at UConn, we should never put ourselves in a mental position where we're complacent. I think our guys read too much into the score of the Providence-Sacred Heart game."

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UConn tops SHU 89-67 00:01:29
UConn Huskies men's basketball team had a big 2nd half to beat Sacred Heart 89-67 for their first win of the season.

STORRS, Conn. (AP) Josh Carlton scored 14 of his 18 points in the second half to help UConn break open what had been a close game and beat Sacred Heart 89-67 on Friday night.

Christian Vital added 15 of his 17 points after intermission for UConn, which won its season opener for third straight year and 19th time in 20 seasons.

Carlton opened the second half with four straight baskets in the paint, part of a 14-2 run that turned a three-point halftime lead into a 54-39 advantage. Vital capped the run with a pair of 3-pointers that put the Huskies in control.

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Mar 7, 2019; Storrs, CT, USA; Connecticut Huskies head coach Dan Hurley watches from the sideline as they take on the Temple Owls in the second half at Gampel Pavilion. Temple defeated UConn 78-71. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports (David Butler II)
Mar 7, 2019; Storrs, CT, USA; Connecticut Huskies head coach Dan Hurley watches from the sideline as they take on the Temple Owls in the second half at Gampel Pavilion. Temple defeated UConn 78-71. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports (David Butler II)

UConn netted its first commitment of the 2020 recruiting class Wednesday and it was a big one.

The Huskies received a pledge from four-star Andre Jackson of Albany, New York, who gives second-year head coach Dan Hurley recruiting momentum before the 2019-20 season.

The 6-foot-6, 195-pound Jackson is the 247Sports Composite's No. 70 overall prospect, No. 16 small forward and No. 3 player in New York for the current recruiting cycle. 

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Big East adds UConn Huskies 00:01:43
UConn men's basketball coach Dan Hurley gives his comments on the Huskies being back in the Big East Conference.

Thursday was a momentous day for UConn, as the school was welcomed back as a member of the Big East, though they won't officially make the move until 2020.

Big East commissioner Val Ackerman called UConn's move out of the American Athletic Conference back "an opportunity that we simply couldn't pass up", and men's basketball coach Dan Hurley echoed those thoughts.

"The incredible history and tradition of UConn basketball and the Big East Conference, they're intertwined," Hurley told SNY. "Four National Championships the last 20-plus years on the men's side, obviously the success Geno [Auriemma] has had, and it's all been intertwined."

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Big East adds UConn Huskies 00:01:23
Big East commission Val Ackerman announces that the UConn Huskies are officially back as a member of the Big East Conference.

UConn made the move back into the Big East Conference, as the Board of Trustees voted to withdraw their school from the American Athletic Conference on Wednesday. 

On Thursday, it was made official.

Big East commissioner Val Ackerman addressed the large crowd at Madison Square Garden to welcome back the Huskies to the Big East. She noted this being "an opportunity that we simply couldn't pass up," and with what UConn has accomplished in the conference, this was a match made in heaven once again...

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A Big East logo on the court at the Wells Fargo Center (Bill Streicher/USA TODAY Sports)
A Big East logo on the court at the Wells Fargo Center (Bill Streicher/USA TODAY Sports)

The UConn Board of Trustees voted to withdraw the school from the American Athletic Conference and accept an invitation to the Big East Conference on Wednesday.

UConn, which left the Big East in 2013 to join the AAC, will return beginning in the 2020-21 academic year.

Big East presidents approved UConn's invitation on a conference call on Monday. 

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The Big East logo on the court at The Pavilion (Bill Streicher/USA TODAY Sports)
The Big East logo on the court at The Pavilion (Bill Streicher/USA TODAY Sports)

UConn is reportedly headed back to the Big East, and the school reportedly cleared one hurdle on Monday.

Big East presidents approved UConn's invitation on a conference call on Monday, CBS Sports' Matt Norlander reports, and UConn's Board of Trustees is reportedly expected to vote and approve the move on Wednesday. A formal announcement could come Thursday.

UConn, which left the Big East in 2013 to join the American Athletic Conference, would return to the Big East for the 2020-21 academic year.

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Connecticut Huskies guard Jalen Adams reacts with guard Christian Vital after a play against the Cornell Big Red in the second half at XL Center. (David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports)
Connecticut Huskies guard Jalen Adams reacts with guard Christian Vital after a play against the Cornell Big Red in the second half at XL Center. (David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports)

UConn men's basketball star guard Jalen Adams signed with the New Orleans Pelicans after the NBA draft, the team announced.

Adams averaged 16.9 points, 4.0 rebounds and 3.4 assists in 26 games as a senior, his final season cut short due to a sprained MCL.

As a junior, Adams averaged 18.1 points, 4.2 rebounds and 4.7 assists.

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 (Charles LeClaire)
(Charles LeClaire)

A UConn legend in Swin Cash has reportedly secured a senior front-office position with the New Orleans Pelicans, according to ESPN's Zach Lowe.

Lowe has the official title for Cash being the vice president of basketball operations and team development, which has the duties of guiding player development and scouting among others. 

The Pelicans have been revamping their front office, with new president of basketball operations David Griffin leading the way. Griffin has also brought in Trajan Langdon to be the team's new GM. 

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UConn Huskies guard Katie Lou Samuelson reacts after a play against the Louisville Cardinals during the second half in the championship game of the Albany regional in the women's 2019 NCAA tournament at Times Union Center. (Rich Barnes/USA TODAY Sports)
UConn Huskies guard Katie Lou Samuelson reacts after a play against the Louisville Cardinals during the second half in the championship game of the Albany regional in the women's 2019 NCAA tournament at Times Union Center. (Rich Barnes/USA TODAY Sports)

After finishing their UConn careers, UConn greats Katie Lou Samuelson and Napheesa Collier are officially leaving Storrs to begin their WNBA careers.

Samuelson was drafted fourth by the Chicago Sky, while Collier was picked sixth by the Minnesota Lynx at Wednesday's WNBA draft.

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Legacy of Katie Lou & Napheesa 00:01:23
UConn Huskies may have lost in the Final Four but the impact Napheesa Collier and Katie Lou Samuelson will be remembered for years to come

The UConn Huskies may have lost in the Final Four, but the impact Katie Lou Samuelson and Napheesa Collier had will be remembered for years to come.

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Hurley establishing good culture 00:01:39
UConn Huskies head coach Dan Hurley is establishing good culture after his first full season and has the Huskies back on track to greatness

UConn head coach Dan Hurley is establishing good culture after his first full season, and has the Huskies back on track to greatness.

 

 

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UConn falls 81-76 to Notre Dame 00:01:19
UConn fell short in the Final Four against Notre Dame losing 81-76. Katie Lou Samuelson & Naphessa Collier finish their careers as Huskies

The University of Connecticut Lady Huskies fell to the Notre Dame Fighting Irish for the second consecutive season in the NCAA Tournament semifinal, 81-76, in Tampa Bay. 


Things to know about Friday's game...

1) With one minute left to play, the Huskies were down just one point. And though they got some good looks at taking the lead, it was Brianna Turner for the Irish that came up with big blocks to keep Notre Dame's lead. She is Notre Dame's blocks leader in team history, and it came up big tonight. She also had 15 points and 14 rebounds...

Tags: University of Notre Dame
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UConn Final Four hype video 00:00:50
UConn Huskies are in their 12th consecutive Final Four appearance and head coach Geno Auriemma knows it's going to be a battle

The UConn Huskies are in their 12th consecutive Final Four appearance, and head coach Geno Auriemma knows it's going to be a battle against defending champion Notre Dame.

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UConn takes on Notre Dame 00:01:28
SNY's Justine Ward talks to Katie Lou Samuelson about UConn's clash with Notre Dame in the Final Four on Friday night.

The University of Connecticut Lady Huskies know this moment all too well. They're just looking for a different result this time. 

UConn traveled to Tampa, FL for the Final Four, and lo and behold they're facing Notre Dame once again with the winner heading to the National Championship. Husky fans will remember what happened the past two seasons -- two losses in the semifinal in the game's final seconds. 

Last season, it came at the hands of Notre Dame, which is why UConn has been in the film room watching exactly what went wrong in that game so it doesn't happen this time around...

Tags: Katie Lou Samuelson
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Samuelson on the big UConn win 00:01:19
UConn's Katie Lou Samuelson talks with SNY's Maria Marino about UConn's win over Louisville, earning them another trip to the Final Four

For the fourth time in her career, Katie Lou Samuelson is headed to the Final Four. 

UConn defeated Louisville, 80-73, on Friday for the program's 12th consecutive semifinal appearance. Samuleson poured in 29 points in the winning effort. 

"I think just understanding that i needed to step up bigger than i did on Friday and understanding that if i didn't this could be the end of the road for me," Samuelson said. "There was a lot on the line and we wanted to get back to the Final Four." 

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UConn advances to Final Four 00:01:57
UConn's Geno Auriemma and Katie Lou Samuelson comment on Samuelson's 29-point performance, leading UConn to it's 20th Final Four appearance.

Katie Lou Samuleson led the UConn Lady Huskies to a 80-73 Elite Eight win over Louisville to advance to the FInal Four on Sunday afternoon.


Things to know about Sunday's game...

1) The Huskies owned an 11-point lead in the fourth quarter, but they were close to blowing it. With just 26.6 seconds left on the clock, the Huskies saw their lead cut to two. Luckily, though, they hit their free throws. Samuelson drained two to make it 77-73, and when Asia Durr from Louisville had a chance to move it back to a two-point lead for UConn, she missed them both. Napheese Collier, then, got fouled and hit her free throws to pull away a bit. 

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UConn preps for Louisville 00:02:55
Louisville was one of two losses for UConn during the regular season. The two teams will now face off in the Elite Eight in Albany.

Geno Auriemma and the UConn women's basketball team are back in the NCAA Tournament's Elite Eight for a remarkable 14th straight year, but they face a tall task on Sunday as the No. 2-seeded Huskies face No. 1 Louisville in the Albany Regional final. UConn lost to Louisville back on Jan. 31, 78-69.

Does that result have any impact on Sunday's matchup?

"I think every team understands that what happens in the regular season, that happened last year almost," Auriemma told SNY's Maria Marino. "This is a whole new year. Postseason play is completely different than regular-season play. We've certainly been there before where we won a couple of games in the regular season and you lose to the same team in the postseason. I don't think what happened in that first game is gonna have a lot of bearing on what happens in this game."

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UConn advances to Elite 8 00:01:45
UConn Huskies defeat UCLA and advance to their 14th straight Elite 8. Geno Auriemma expands on how his players grinded out this win.

The UConn Lady Huskies were tested by the UCLA Bruins on Friday night, but they picked it up for a 69-61 win to advance in the NCAA Tournament >> Box Score

Things to know about tonight's game...

1) Napheesa Collier led the way for UConn with 25 points, 10 boards, and four blocks on the defensive end. 

Tags: Katie Lou Samuelson, Napheesa Collier
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UConn preps for UCLA 00:02:18
Maria Marino talked to Geno Auriemma ahead of the Huskies Sweet 16 game against UCLA. They face off Friday at 7pm.

As expected, the University of Connecticut Lady Huskiesd waltzed their way through the first and second rounds of the NCAA Tournament. 

Now, they find themselves in Albany, NY for the Sweet 16 to face off against sixth-seeded UCLA. It's still survive and advance for UConn, but head coach Geno Auriemma has an interesting take on how he looks at the tournament.

"I think when you get here it's a new tournament," Auriemma told SNY's Maria Marino. "The way we treat the NCAA Tournament is it's three little tournaments, you know. So the first one's over, that was last weekend. Now you start a new one."

Auriemma also discussed what the Bruins bring to the table, and how UConn's game against Buffalo helped prepare them for this game...

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Collier and UConn go to Sweet 16 00:00:50
UConn's Napheesa Collier talks to SNY about the team's win over Buffalo in the NCAA Tournament on Sunday, sending UConn to the Sweet 16

Napheesa Collier scored 27 points and grabbed 16 rebounds as UConn held off 10th seeded Buffalo 84-72 on Sunday night to move into the Sweet 16 for a 26th consecutive season.

Katie Lou Samuelson and freshman Christyn Williams each added 17 points for the No. 2 seed Huskies (33-2).

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Geno Auriemma on Round 2 00:01:29
On his birthday, UConn coach Geno Auriemma talks about Katie Lou Samuelson's return to the team and their 2nd round game against Buffalo

STORRS -- Napheesa Collier and Katie Lou Samuelson had quite the introduction to Gampel Pavilion as freshmen. In their first regular season game, UConn played archrival Notre Dame in front of a sold-out crowd.

"That's one of the games I remember the crowd being crazy," Samuelson said. "One of the few games in my career I actually remember the crowd and that was definitely one of them, especially because it was one of the big games."

Collier didn't remember the game as much as her feelings leading up to it.

"I remember how nervous I was. Just being in this environment with our fans," she said. "Playing in Gampel, it was a lot."

Tags: Crystal Dangerfield, Katie Lou Samuelson, Napheesa Collier
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UConn crushes Towson in huge win 00:01:01
UConn crushed Towson 110-61 in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. Katie Lou Samuelson returned to action after missing 3 weeks.

STORRS, Conn. (AP) UConn wanted to make a statement after failing to get a No. 1 seed in this year's NCAA Tournament.

Message sent.

Napheesa Collier scored 23 points and UConn, in the unusual position of being a No. 2 seed, got off to its usual NCAA tournament start with a 110-61 rout of 15th-seeded Towson on Friday night.

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Huskies are ready to face Towson 00:02:29
UConn is in unfamiliar territory as a number two seed in the NCAA tournament, but the Huskies aren't worried in the slightest about it.

For the first time since 2006, the UConn women's basketball team enters the NCAA Tournament as a No. 2 seed.

Geno Auriemma, Napheesa Collier and Katie Lou Samuelson talk about that and more ahead of their Friday matchup against No. 15 Towson in the first round.

Tags: Katie Lou Samuelson, Napheesa Collier
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Connecticut Huskies guard/forward Katie Lou Samuelson and forward Napheesa Collier react after a play against the South Carolina Gamecocks in the second half at XL Center (David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports)
Connecticut Huskies guard/forward Katie Lou Samuelson and forward Napheesa Collier react after a play against the South Carolina Gamecocks in the second half at XL Center (David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports)

STORRS -- Napheesa Collier and Katie Lou Samuelson had a perfect start to their college career, literally. As freshmen, the Huskies went undefeated and won the program's 11th national championship. 

Since then, the two classmates have done plenty of winning -- eight conference titles, helping build a 111-game win streak and reaching three straight Final Fours -- but they're missing one thing: a second national championship.

Fair or not, careers are judged at UConn by how many rings a player wins. 

Tags: Katie Lou Samuelson, Napheesa Collier
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Mar 2, 2019; Storrs, CT, USA; UConn Huskies guard Katie Lou Samuelson (33) drives the basket against the Houston Cougars in the first half at Gampel Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports (David Butler II)
Mar 2, 2019; Storrs, CT, USA; UConn Huskies guard Katie Lou Samuelson (33) drives the basket against the Houston Cougars in the first half at Gampel Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports (David Butler II)

STORRS -- UConn women's basketball senior Katie Lou Samuelson will return for the NCAA Tournament after missing the previous four games due to a back injury suffered on Senior Day on March 2.

"I'm ready to go. I'm excited to get playing again," Samuelson announced.

While Samuelson admitted she isn't back to 100 percent just yet, she will be once the Huskies tip-off in the first round against 15-seed Towson on Friday.

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Geno Auriemma talks Tourney 00:00:50
UConn head coach Geno Auriemma talks to SNY's Justine Ward about his team getting a "rare" # 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament.

Katie Lou Samuelson is expected to return to 2-seed UConn for its NCAA tournament opener on Friday against 15-seed Towson, head coach Geno Auriemma told SNY.tv's Justine Ward.

Samuelson, who has averaged 18.0 points and 6.7 rebounds this season, has missed the Huskies' last four games, including the entire American Athletic Conference tournament, due to a back injury.

She last played March 2 vs. Houston, when she scored 11 points in 17:48 of playing time.

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Geno Auriemma talks Tourney 00:00:50
UConn head coach Geno Auriemma talks to SNY's Justine Ward about his team getting a "rare" # 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament.

Nearly four hours before the scheduled women's NCAA Tournament bracket reveal on ESPN, the network accidentally leaked the entire bracket on Monday during the 3 p.m. Eastern hour on ESPNU.

ESPN acknowledged its error in a statement. 

"In working with the NCAA to prepare for tonight's Women's Selection Special we received the bracket, similar to years past. In the midst of our preparation, the bracket was mistakenly posted on ESPNU," it said in the statement. "We deeply regret the error and extend our apology to the NCAA and the women's basketball community. We will conduct a thorough review of our process to ensure it doesn't happen in the future. We will now broadcast the full bracket at 5 p.m. ET on ESPN2, and the regularly-scheduled show on ESPN at 7 p.m."

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Mar 7, 2019; Storrs, CT, USA; Connecticut Huskies guard Christian Vital (1) reacts after his basket against Temple Owls guard Shizz Alston Jr. (10) in the first half at Gampel Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports (David Butler II)
Mar 7, 2019; Storrs, CT, USA; Connecticut Huskies guard Christian Vital (1) reacts after his basket against Temple Owls guard Shizz Alston Jr. (10) in the first half at Gampel Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports (David Butler II)

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) UConn's success in March continued in the opening round of the American Athletic Conference tournament thanks to accurate first-half shooting that spread into the early stages of the second.

The shooting that hovered above 63 percent with eight minutes left in the game, provided enough of a buffer for UConn to withstand a late run by South Florida, allowing the Huskies to hold on for an 80-73 victory on Thursday.

"(The Huskies) run and their transition offense really put us in a bind," USF coach Brian Gregory said. "We were on our heels in transition." >> Read More

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UCONN wins AAC Tournament 00:00:48
The Huskies are just warming up. They easily won the AAC tournament and improved their all-time record to 120-0 in conference play.

No. 2 UConn was forced to play the American Athletic Conference Tournament without injured All-American Katie Lou Samuelson and may have become a more complete team as a result.

Napheesa Collier scored 25 points and pulled down 14 rebounds, and the Huskies beat UCF 66-45 Monday night to win their sixth straight league tournament championship.

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Mar 7, 2019; Storrs, CT, USA; Connecticut Huskies head coach Dan Hurley watches from the sideline as they take on the Temple Owls in the second half at Gampel Pavilion. Temple defeated UConn 78-71. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports (David Butler II)
Mar 7, 2019; Storrs, CT, USA; Connecticut Huskies head coach Dan Hurley watches from the sideline as they take on the Temple Owls in the second half at Gampel Pavilion. Temple defeated UConn 78-71. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports (David Butler II)

GREENVILLE, N.C. (AP) After missing seven games with a sprained ligament in his knee, Connecticut senior guard Jalen Adams was adamant about playing Sunday.

He told coach Danny Hurley that he wanted to wear the UConn jersey again, then took the Huskies' offense to a higher level in an 82-73 defeat of East Carolina at Minges Coliseum. Adams tied his career high with 12 assists and scored 13 points in the regular-season finale for both teams. Teammates Josh Carlton (20 points), Tyler Polley (19 points) and Christian Vital (16 points) all benefited from having Adams back in the lineup as the Huskies (15-16, 6-12 American Athletic Conference) won on an opponent's home floor for the first time this season.

"Being at one school for four years, it's only right you get to put on the jersey to close out the end of the season," Adams said. "It just meant a lot to be out there with my brothers. It's probably my last time to be playing on a team where everyone genuinely cares for me and loves me. After this, it's probably going to be just business."

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UConn routs South Florida 00:01:28
UConn defeated South Florida 81-45 in the AAC semifinal game. The Huskies were lead by Collier and her strong shooting from beyond the arc.

Megan Walker scored 24 points and Napheesa Collier added 23 to lead No. 2 UConn to an 81-45 rout of South Florida on Sunday and move Huskies into their sixth straight American Athletic Conference championship game.

Crystal Dangerfield added 11 points and Christyn Williams chipped in 10 for Connecticut (30-2), which has never lost to an AAC opponent and has won 30 games for a 14th consecutive season.

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Collier leads UConn past ECU 00:01:32
UConn head coach Geno Auriemma, Napheesa Collier and Crystal Dangerfield discuss Collier's 37-point performance in their win over ECU

UNCASVILLE, Conn. (AP) Napheesa Collier scored a season-high 37 points as No. 2 UConn, playing without injured All-American Katie Lou Samuelson, pulled away from East Carolina 92-65 Saturday in the quarterfinals of the American Athletic Conference tournament.

UConn (29-2) beat the Pirates last month in Hartford by 63 points, a game in which Samuelson scored 31. She hurt her back in a game last week and the Huskies say she won't be back before the NCAA Tournament.

Minus Samuelson, UConn led just 24-22 after a quarter and 46-39 at halftime. Olivia Nelson-Ododa, who started in Samuelson's place, finished with 17 rebounds and five blocks.

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Jan 19, 2019; Storrs, CT, USA; Connecticut Huskies guard Alterique Gilbert (3) shoots against the Tulane Green Wave in the first half at Gampel Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports (David Butler II)
Jan 19, 2019; Storrs, CT, USA; Connecticut Huskies guard Alterique Gilbert (3) shoots against the Tulane Green Wave in the first half at Gampel Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports (David Butler II)

Alterique Gilbert's injury woes continue as UConn announced the redshirt sophomore point guard is dealing with a concussion and eye injury.

In Thursday's 78-71 loss to Temple, Gilbert left the game after colliding with a Temple player and stayed overnight at Hartford Hospital. 

According to the school, Gilbert will not participate in basketball activities for "an indefinite period of time."

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Katie Lou Samuelson gets injured 00:01:29
On Senior Day, Katie Lou Samuelson had to leave the first half against UConn after diving for a loose ball with an apparent back injury.

UConn women's basketball ruled senior Katie Lou Samuelson out for the AAC Tournament this weekend due to a back injury suffered last Saturday against Houston. The injury happened when Samuelson dove for a loose ball and collided with an opposing player. She tried to return in the second half, but quickly checked out.

In the Huskies' one game without Samuelson against USF, the offense struggled to get going for the first 30 minutes. UConn scored a season-low 25 points in the first half and needed a late push in the fourth quarter to get the win over the Bulls.

Olivia Nelson-Ododa got the start in Samuelson's place last game, and is a good bet to start in the tournament. Kyla Irwin also started two games back in December when Megan Walker missed a pair of contests with strep throat, but hasn't played much recently. Both would be options if head coach Geno Auriemma wants to replace Samuelson with another big, but if he decides to go small, Molly Bent or Mikayla Coombs could see their first career start.

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Mar 7, 2019; Storrs, CT, USA; Connecticut Huskies guard Christian Vital (1) works for the ball against Temple Owls guard Quinton Rose (1) in the second half at Gampel Pavilion. Temple defeated UConn 78-71. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports (David Butler II)
Mar 7, 2019; Storrs, CT, USA; Connecticut Huskies guard Christian Vital (1) works for the ball against Temple Owls guard Quinton Rose (1) in the second half at Gampel Pavilion. Temple defeated UConn 78-71. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports (David Butler II)

STORRS, Conn. (AP) Shizz Alston scored a career-high 34 points to lead Temple past UConn 78-71 on Thursday to keep the Owls hopes alive for an at-large berth in the NCAA Tournament.

Alston hit 12 of his 14 shots from the floor and was 4 of 5 from behind the arc for the Owls (22-8, 12-5 American).

Quinton Rose added 20 points for Temple, which secured a bye in the first-round of next week's conference tournament.

Christian Vital had 26 points for the Huskies (14-16, 5-12), who lost for the first time this season at Gampel Pavilion. Josh Carlton added 21 points in a losing effort.

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UConn finishes regular season 00:00:35
The Huskies played their regular season finale against USF without senior Katie Lou Samuelson, it was a good test before the tournament.

Christyn Williams scored eight of her 10 points in the fourth quarter and second-ranked UConn finished the game on a 9-0 run to pull away to a 57-47 regular season-ending victory over South Florida on Monday night.

The Huskies (28-2, 16-0), playing without injured star Katie Lou Samuelson, completed another perfect run through the American Athletic Conference, improving to 102-0 during the regular season against league opponents since the AAC was formed six seasons ago.

Samuelson did not play after hurting her back during last Saturday's 83-61 home victory over Houston. She accompanied the team to Florida, however the Huskies announced a little over an hour before the game that the two-time All-American would not be available.

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Mar 3, 2019; Storrs, CT, USA; Connecticut Huskies forward Josh Carlton (25) works for the ball against South Florida Bulls forward Michael Durr (4) in the second half at Gampel Pavilion. UConn defeated USF 60-58. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports (David Butler II)
Mar 3, 2019; Storrs, CT, USA; Connecticut Huskies forward Josh Carlton (25) works for the ball against South Florida Bulls forward Michael Durr (4) in the second half at Gampel Pavilion. UConn defeated USF 60-58. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports (David Butler II)

STORRS, Conn. (AP) Josh Carlton scored 16 points and pulled down nine rebounds as UConn held off South Florida 60-58 on Sunday.

Alterique Gilbert added 15 for the Huskies (14-15, 5-11 American), who won despite failing to make a 3-point basket for the first time in more than nine years and 338 consecutive games.

David Collins had 17 points and Alexis Yetna added 15 for USF (18-11, 7-9 American), which had a chance to win or send the game into overtime.

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Points in the Paint: Samuelson 00:00:26
UConn's Katie Lou Samuelson dominates in the lane to give UConn a huge advantage in the paint against Houston, presented by Ring's End.

UConn's Katie Lou Samuelson dominates in the lane to give UConn a huge advantage in the paint against Houston, presented by Ring's End.

Watch the video above.

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Mar 2, 2019; Storrs, CT, USA; UConn Huskies guard Katie Lou Samuelson (33) is injured during a play against he Houston Cougars in the first half at Gampel Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports (David Butler II)
Mar 2, 2019; Storrs, CT, USA; UConn Huskies guard Katie Lou Samuelson (33) is injured during a play against he Houston Cougars in the first half at Gampel Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports (David Butler II)

STORRS -- In the second half of the UConn women's basketball's game on Saturday against Houston, senior Katie Lou Samuelson went diving for a loose ball and collided with a opposing player. Samuelson immediately rolled over in pain and stayed down on the court as Gampel Pavilion went dead silent.

She eventually walked off the court under her own power before heading into the locker room with team trainer Janelle Francisco.

"I don't know exactly what happened," Samuelson said on the play that caused the injury. "I just got hit where my muscle just spasmed and tightened up right after."

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