UConn strikes again: Ryan Boatright has the Huskies one win from dancing
Ryan Boatright is doing his best Kemba Walker impersonation this week at the American Athletic Conference tournament. Maybe it’s more of a tip of his cap to former teammate Shabazz Napier.
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Take your pick. Boatright is taking over games and propelling the defending national champions to wins and deeper into the conference tournament than they were ever expected to reach. Tulsa was the latest victim Saturday as Boatright led a comeback from 10 down in the second half to win 47-42.
Sure, it helps that the tournament is in the Huskies’ backyard in Hartford, but that doesn’t explain an inability of multiple teams to guard the Huskies and get stops when the game is on the line. Boatright scored nearly half of his team’s points (21) and the Huskies finished on a 14-1 run. It’s hard not to draw comparisons to the two former Huskies guards who also led similar UConn runs in the postseason.
Boatright and teammate Rodney Purvis have the Huskies one win away from getting back to the NCAA tournament and a chance to defend their title. They were all but written off at the end of the regular season when they earned the No. 6 seed in the AAC tournament, but the Huskies have beaten South Florida, Cincinnati and Tulsa on consecutive days to reach the championship against top-seeded SMU on Sunday.
The Huskies will be trying to do something on Sunday they haven’t managed all season, win four in a row. With recent UConn tournament runs fresh in the minds of college basketball fans around the nation, it would be no surprise if they get the job done.
There will be at least a half-dozen bubble teams around the nation rooting against them, hoping another dose of UConn tournament magic doesn’t prevent them from an at-large berth.
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[Kyle Ringo is the assistant editor of The Dagger on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter! Follow @KyleRingo