Geno Auriemma's Huskies went 34-0 this season and are currently on a 40-game winning streak that dates back to last year's national championship run. So it's wholly unsurprising that they earned a No. 1 seed and will face No. 16 Prairie View A&M (14-17) in the opening round Sunday at Gampel Pavilion.
But the Huskies are officially in the Lincoln, Neb. bracket, which means that the regional semifinal and finals will be played on March 29 and 31 at Pinnacle Bank Arena in -- you guessed it -- Lincoln. SNY.com's Carl Adamec writes that not only has UConn never played a game in Nebraska, in their first 25 NCAA appearances, UConn has played just one true road game, and that was at Vanderbilt in 1992.
I felt all along we would probably end up in Lincoln, Nebraska,” Auriemma said, via SNY.com. “As it turns out, that’s probably the right choice. I thought the committee did a pretty good job. Everyone was talking, ‘We’re going to go to Louisville. We’re going to go to Louisville.’ I don’t know where everybody got that but it seemed to be a popular theory. I never thought we’d go to Louisville.
“You knew Nebraska was going to be there, you just didn’t know what number. Texas A&M had a great year. People might be a little surprised at Duke as a No. 2 but when you look at how well they’ve played given their injuries, maybe they deserve it the way they responded from that kind of adversity.”
With the AAC Tournament well in the rear view, Auriemma is now trying to focus his team for the Big Dance.
The next two days will be really important, tomorrow and Wednesday,” he said. “We’ll take Thursday off and come back Friday and it will be a sprint from there. These next two days we’ll get a lot done.”
The players, meanwhile, seem plenty focused, even with the extended layoff between the conference and NCAA tourney.
“We want to go out there and prove why we’ve been voted the No. 1 team in the country all season,” senior Bria Hartley said. “We want to go out and play our best basketball and go win the national championship. I don’t know if we have anything to lose, but there is a lot for us to win.”