Nothing about playing at the Tulsa Golden Hurricanes' home arena, the Reynolds Center, stands out. Tulsa is never particularly good, with just one NCAA Tournament appearance -- in which they were one of the last four teams in -- since joining the American.
The crowd isn't usually that big when UConn men's basketball comes in, the largest being 6,092 (8,355 is the capacity) back in the 2014-15 season -- their first season in the conference. The past two years, there have been fewer than 4,000 in attendance.
But for some reason, UConn can't seem to buy a win in that arena, as Wednesday night's loss dropped the Huskies to 0-5 in the Reynolds' Center. But on top of the losses, strange things happen to UConn when they play in Tulsa.
Last season, the Huskies lead by one with 12 seconds left and had the ball. But they struggled to inbound it and Jalen Adams ended up trapped with the ball directly under Tulsa's hoop. He began falling out of bounds and tried to throw the ball off a Tulsa player and out of bounds, but ended up throwing it away altogether. The Golden Hurricane got the ball back, forced a second overtime and beat the Huskies there.
In 2017, Adams had a chance to win the game in regulation but missed a layup in the final seconds. UConn led again with 1:20 to go in overtime but Tulsa took the lead for good off a turnover from Christian Vital.
There was hope that these losses were just one of the many problems that plagued the Kevin Ollie Era and with Dan Hurley now at the helm, UConn could finally escape their house of horrors. Instead, Hurley was sucked right into it himself.
With just over 11 minutes to play, Hurley and Tulsa coach Frank Haith were both given technicals for exchanging words with each other on the sideline. After that, Hurley appeared to try and make amends and shake Haith's hand when both coaches were given their second technical and ejected from the game.
"Listen, I've never seen anything like that. That was surreal," Hurley told reporters after the game. "I've known Frank for a very long time...I feel as though that situation got escalated because of the officials and they way they handled that situation."
Haith didn't find the original interaction to be out of the ordinary either.
"It was competitive banter. Both coaches are competitors and both coaches were trying to help their team," Haith said. "I think it started out like that. I don't think it escalated to both of us being ejected, and that's disappointing."
The Huskies' ineptitude at Tulsa isn't the only odd trend to emerge for UConn since the American came to be. While that can be somewhat explained by the Huskies' struggles on the road under Ollie and general poor play in recent years, others have been persistent even when UConn fielded more competitive teams.
In the AAC, UConn is just 1-5 in conference openers. To make matters worse, that record is spotted with bad losses, such as falling to USF this season or the inexplicable loss to an 8-5 Houston team the year the Huskies won the national title.
Related to that is the New Year's Eve curse. UConn is winless in three tries on the final day of the year in the American, including the aforementioned losses to Houston and Tulsa in addition to a 2014 loss to Temple when the Huskies had the chance to win the game in the final seconds. Daniel Hamilton went to the line for three shots with the team trailing by two with under three ticks to go. He needed to make just two to tie.
Hamilton missed all three and UConn lost.
So in a vacuum, UConn's inability to win at Tulsa seems like it should be an anomaly. But when it comes to life in the American, it's simply par for the course. And the Huskies should be expected to lose when they travel to the Reynolds Center until they prove otherwise.