UConn's the Home Team, But Michigan's on Home Turf

Huskies Will Battle Michigan State and Their "Home" Crowd

UConn will be wearing their home uniforms when they try to smash Michigan State Saturday, but it’s unlikely that Detroit will feel like home.

Michigan State is a mere 90 miles from the arena, so the “visiting team” should have little problem packing the stands. With the crowd expected to exceed 70,000, that’s a whole lot of Spartan green.

The higher seeded Huskies' third trip to the Final Four is a virtual road game.

"We'll have the white uniforms on. That's as close we'll get to being a home team, I think," UConn coach Jim Calhoun said on a Final Four coaches teleconference Monday. "I'm very aware ... that there will be a little bit of noise for the guys in green. No question."

Ford Field, the domed home of the Detroit Lions, is expected to set the record for the largest Final Four attendance in the 71-year history of the event. Last spring, the stadium drew 114,591 to the two sessions of the Midwest regional, another record.

The larger configuration opened up more seats to local fans, a goal of the tournament committee, and NCAA organizers say about one in seven spectators will be Michigan residents.

The Huskies (31-4) are not afraid of playing outside of Connecticut. UConn went 9-1 on the road this year, its only loss coming at then-No. 3 Pittsburgh on March 7, and the Huskies are 8-1 in neutral-site games, losing only to Syracuse in six overtimes in the Big East tourney in Madison Square Garden.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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