Mark your calendars, folks: The Defending National Champion Of The Universe UConn men's basketball team will host ESPN's College GameDay for the second time ever this upcoming season. The Huskies host Syracuse at Gampel Pavilion on Feb. 25, and ESPN's crew will be there all day for its eminently watchable pregame show.
Did I mention Gampel Pavilion? HURRAH IMPORTANT GAMES AT THE NON-AWFUL UCONN ARENA!
Apparently, all it takes to get a GameDay home game is winning the national title; the Huskies are regular fixtures on College GameDay, but haven't hosted since GameDay's inaugural season in 2005. The first broadcast that season was the famous Gampel snow game against Pittsburgh, wherein a blizzard kept regular ticketholders away, allowing the Pavilion to be packed with UConn students.
The UConn women also hosted GameDay at Gampel in 2010 in the midst of their infinity-game winning streak. The men have also appeared on the road at Louisville (71-58 win in 2006), at LSU (66-49 loss in 2007) and at Notre Dame (69-61 win in 2009).
And while I look forward to the zany GameDay crew and their wacky antics in Storrs - Jim Calhoun giving Digger Phelps a wedgie, Bob Knight laying down a sick beat for Jay Bilas to recite some Jeezy lyrics, Rece Davis insisting on calling our school "The Conn" - this will probably be a pretty big game all on its own.
If both UConn and Syracuse live up to their lofty preseason rankings (Syracuse at #4, UConn at #6), this late-season clash could potentially one of the Big East game of the year. It will also likely come on the heels of the two teams' meeting in the Carrier Dome, as the Huskies and Orange generally also play during Rivalry Week* in early Februrary.
(*That is not to say we are competing to be Syracuse's rival, because that would be absurd - everyone is below us.)