UConn will meet Dayton in the Elite 8 on Monday in Albany, but for several Dayton players, they already have a taste for what to expect from the nation's best program.
Five years ago, the Huskies' played an NCAA Sweet 16 game in Dayton Arena and current Dayton player Andrea Hoover was just a high school junior in the stands taking it all in.
“I watched them," Hoover told SNY.com's Carl Adamec. "I remember watching Kelly Faris and how she would come off screens and just was moving non-stop, all of the time. That team was so good with Maya Moore and really it was just a privilege to watch them. The ability they had to run their offense so fluently and take care of the ball was something then and it’s something they do now. It’s great for the game.
“I’m a big basketball junkie. Their ability to share the ball and not be selfish … You know on their high school teams they were the big stars and then they come to UConn and they’re willing to share the ball. It’s incredible.”
The Huskies went 39-0 that year and won the national championship. And two seasons later, Hoover and teammate Ally Malott got the full UConn experience when the Flyers played the Huskies. Dayton lost 78-38, and in the process, the Huskies set the mark for consecutive home wins with 89.
Now Hoover and Malott get another shot at UConn, which might be one of Geno Auriemma's best squads in years.
“The only people who believed we would be here were us and our community and coaches,” Malott said. “We have so much faith in each other and in our coaches to get into position to win games and that’s what we’ve done.”
Hoover added: “For anyone to beat UConn would mean a lot. For a team from the A-10 to do it as a 7-seed would be huge. It would be one of the biggest upsets ever.”