UConn will have the opportunity to cap off their time in the American Athletic Conference this weekend without losing a single game.
After seven seasons consisting of 136 regular season and 18 conference tournament games in the American, the Huskies have succeeded in winning every game.
UConn hasn’t even come close to losing in the conference tournament either, winning by 20 or more in all but two games. The two closest games were against USF, who they faced in the final round for five of the last six postseasons. In 2015 they played a 14-point game, and in 2018 a 16-point game.
As for this postseason, UConn again has the No. 1 seed and will have a first round bye. They are scheduled to play Saturday in the quarterfinals against the winner of No. 9 East Carolina versus No. 8 Temple.
When ECU and Temple faced off less than two weeks ago, ECU pulled off a 6-point win at home. After falling down 22-11 in the first quarter, the Pirates mounted a fourth quarter comeback in large part due to Taniyah Thompson. She finished the game with 23 points, scoring 11 in the final quarter.
Temple is entering this tournament skidding, losing their last four, while ECU has found a bit of a groove, winning four of their last six.
Despite Temple finishing their season 15-14 and ECU 9-20, Temple’s conference record was just one game better than East Carolina’s. They are as closely seeded as possible and played a very close game with each other very recently. But I don’t think UConn cares which opponent they draw on Sunday, as neither has a real chance at winning.
UConn played Temple as the third game on their schedule, back before the team gelled into the product that they are today. Regardless, the Huskies won 83-54 behind scoring contributions from the core four.
Christyn Williams led the way with 19 shooting a stellar 8-for-12, Olivia Nelson-Ododa had a 15 point double-double with five blocks, Megan Walker also had 15 and Crystal Dangerfield had 14. Mia Davis scored 18, which is right around her season average entering the postseason.
UConn played against ECU closer to the middle of the schedule during the last week of January. Like the Temple game, the Huskies thrashed them, but it was even worse.
The Huskies won that game 98-42, holding the Pirates to just 10 combined points over the second and third quarters. The 98 points are the second most UConn scored all season, and the 42 they allowed are tied for the sixth fewest. ECU turned the ball over 17 times, which is just one mark under their 18 made field goals.
Thompson was held to 10 points on 5-for-18 shooting and four turnovers. Lashonda Monk led ECU with 17 points on 21 shots, also turning the ball over four times but coming up with five steals.
Williams led the Huskies in scoring this game too with 26. Freshman Anna Makurat followed with 24, scoring exclusively from beyond the arc, shooting 8-for-10. Both guards set new career highs in points this game. Walker had a 15 point, 12 rebound double-double, and Aubrey Griffin stuffed the statsheet with 12 points, eight rebounds, five assists and three blocks.
To sum things up, UConn should beat either Temple or ECU without much concern. I’m sure head coach Geno Auriemma won’t allow his players to take any opponents lightly in a tournament setting, but I don’t expect UConn’s quarterfinal game to be very close.
The entire AAC tournament will be played at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn. UConn’s quarterfinal game will be played Saturday at 2 p.m. If they win, they will move on to play Sunday at 4 p.m. After that would be the finals, which are Monday night at 7 p.m.