There will be no from-outta-nowhere run through the conference and NCAA Tournaments this year. Ryan Boatright, who carried the Huskies for much of the season, was just 1 of 12 from the floor in the AAC title game and SMU won by eight.
Everyone knew going in that UConn would have to win the AAC tournament to get into the Big Dance.
“I was just off, just off night for me,” Boatright said, via SNY.com. “Missed a few shots, tried to get to the rim, didn’t get to the foul line, them didn’t go my way. But I’m a man though, I can take it, I can take it on the chest. I’m going to move on and keep working.”
So while there will be no storybook finishes like the ones we saw from Shabazz Napier and Kemba Walker, there is s consolation prize in the truest sense of the word: The Huskies will play in the NIT. Specifically, they'll host Arizona St. on Wednesday.
This will be UConn's 13th NIT appearance, but their first since 2010.
"It's postseason play," coach Kevin Ollie said. "You lose, you go home. That's what you get out of it. It's experience. As a man, you grow up, you have experiences and your mama whup you and you go back and you learn from it. Just like everything in life, you got postseason. There's no next day. So these guys are learning from it. If it's NIT or NCAA, they going to learn from it and they going to come back better from it. I am still coaching them the way I coach them. They still going to play the way they going to play."
And Boatright, like he does every time he steps on the court, has every intention of winning the whole thing.
"It's UConn. This is Connecticut," he said, "and no matter what we're playing in or what we're doing, we win games, we win championships. Whether it's the NCAA Tournament or the NIT, we're going in to win it."