On March 6, the Connecticut Huskies lost to the Notre Dame Fighting Irish 70-67, in a game played at Gampel Pavilion in Storrs. It was the Huskies' seventh loss in 11 games, and as Jim Calhoun's team prepared to open the Big East tournament against DePaul, the coach talked about his team's season:
"Bottom line is, Did we not play as well? Did the schedule catch up with us? There are so many factors involved that I don't know. ... Given that we played 21 teams in the top 100, they've had a very good season. Now we have to hope to have a very good postseason."
UConn did indeed have a very good postseason. So incredibly good, in fact, that it's worth asking: What in the world just happened? How did a struggling 9-9 Big East team manage to turn things around and win 11 games in a row? Was there any way of knowing in advance that this team was capable of claiming the national championship?
Before we close the book on the 2010-11 college basketball season, let's take one last look at an incredible turnaround, one that propelled Connecticut from Madison Square Garden on a sleepy Tuesday afternoon in March to a celebration at center court at Houston's Reliant Stadium on the first Monday in April.