UConn Blog Predictions: How Did They Turn Out?

Maddie Meyer

Before the season began, and again right before the NCAA Tournament started, we here at The UConn Blog made a series of bold predictions. So how did those turn out? Lets find out.

So the season is over, and UConn stands alone as National Champions? Who could have seen that coming? Well, as it turns out, a few of us here at The UConn Blog thought it could be done, and we even went on record with our predictions both before the season started and again on the eve of the NCAA Tournament. Besides UConn's finish in the tournament, we weighed in on a whole bunch of things. So in the interest of accountability, lets take a look back on what each of us thought was going to happen and see how close we were to being right.

Why don't we start with our preseason predictions, and so you can all verify that these were in fact our original predictions, you can read the original article here.

Who wins the inaugural American Athletic Conference regular season championship?

Mac: 1. UConn, 2. Louisville, 3. Memphis

Andrew: 1. UConn, 2. Memphis, 3. Louisville

John Rook: 1. Louisville, 2. UConn, 3. Memphis

By the looks of it, John Rook is the winner on this count, as he correctly predicted that Louisville would win the league's regular season championship, or at least a tie for it. All of us lose points for sleeping on Cincinnati though, I think it's fair to say that won't be happening again next year.

Who wins the American Athletic Conference tournament?

Mac: UConn vs. Louisville, and whoever wins the regular season title will also win the tournament title.

Andrew: Memphis.

John Rook: UConn.

Hey, I was right! I mean, my prediction was a bit more generalized, but still, both I did get both competitors right, and the regular season champion Cardinals did hoist the trophy at the end too.

MVP?

Mac: Shabazz Napier

Andrew: Shabazz Napier

John Rook: Shabazz Napier

Duh.

Surprise Prime-Time Player?

John Rook: Amida Brimah

Mac: Phil Nolan

Andrew: Omar Calhoun

Aman: Amida Brimah

The correct answer to this one was probably Niels Giffey, because if we're being honest I don't think anybody expected him to have the season he had this year. That being said, John and Aman weren't wrong in having faith in Brimah, who was a monster at blocking shots and grew more dependable as the season went on. I'll say this about Nolan, he may not have been very productive offensively, but defensively he got the job done, especially as the year went on. As for Omar... lets hope he bounces back next year.

Biggest Win of the Season?

Mac: UConn over Louisville at Gampel.

Andrew: Ditto.

John Rook: UConn over BC at Madison Square Garden.

Aman: UConn over Florida at Gampel, "that's when everyone starts taking us seriously."

Boom. Aman called this one and even predicted the narrative shift too. Granted the two losses against Houston and SMU right afterwards sort of bumped us back down into the "nobody is taking us seriously" category again, but still, this was without question UConn's biggest win before the tournament began. As for the rest of us, well... UConn vs. Louisville wasn't a very positive experience, and BC turned out to be awful this year. Oh well.

Upset Watch?

Mac: UConn at SMU on Jan. 4.

Andrew: Same.

John Rook: UConn vs. Harvard.

Aman: UConn at Washington.

I guess me and Andrew were right on this one, but as it turns out, can losing to that SMU team in Moody Coliseum really be considered an upset given how much havoc the Mustangs wrecked on opponents there? They were a pretty good team too, and they should have been in the tournament. The correct answer for this one sadly should have been Houston, but come on, who could've seen THAT one coming.

Breakout Season?

Mac: Amida Brimah, he has the physical tools to be a dominant center and if he can adjust to the college game quickly, he could become a key player for the Huskies right away.

Aman: Omar Calhoun, I think he will be an absolute monster and we may be talking about whether or not he declares at the end of this season.

Amida was a key player for the Huskies right away, but I think it's safe to say he wasn't dominant, though he will be before long. As for Omar... he ain't going anywhere.

Key to the Season?

Mac: Frontcourt play

Andrew: Taking care of the ball

Aman: DeAndre Daniels

All reasonable predictions that I would say worked out in the end. The ultimate key to the season probably turned out to be Kevin Ollie's leadership and the team's commitment to defense, but still.

Bold Prediction?

Mac: Phil Nolan will become a key part of the Huskies' rotation.

Andrew: Omar Calhoun will lead the conference in threes made.

John Rook: Six AAC teams in the tournament.

Replace Omar Calhoun with Niels Giffey and Andrew is dead on. As for Phil, maybe he wasn't a key factor but he was certainly a factor, and six teams was probably never going to happen, but there should have been five. Absolutely there should have been five.

How far does UConn go in the NCAA Tournament?

Mac: UConn should be a Sweet Sixteen team at worst, I think anything less than that would be a big disappointment. The team certainly has the potential to reach the Final Four and win the championship, but I think it would be a stretch to call this a "championship or bust" season, so maybe it would be fair to split the difference and say this team reaches the Elite Eight, and we'll see how it goes from there.

Andrew: Elite Eight

John Rook: I just really love experienced guard play when it comes to winning in March. Shabazz and Boatright make up one of the best, most dynamic 1-2 guard combos in the nation. They can score in a variety of ways. They are pesky on defense. Napier has become one of the better ball distributors around. I say they make the Elite Eight

Aman: Homer Alert - National Champions. I think of this team as having Butler's teamwork with high-major talent. Teams like Butler and VCU have made deep tournament runs thanks to experience and teamwork, we have that with the advantage of upper echelon talent. Guard play and Defense wins in March/April and we do those things very well. Last year's team drastically exceeded expectations, and we have the next great college basketball coach on our sidelines, so I feel comfortable predicting the University of Connecticut cutting down the nets for the fourth time in 15 years.

Boom. The prophet Aman speaks again. While Andrew, John and I all thought UConn could make a run, only Aman had the balls to lay it out there and predict what we all knew could happen but still seemed like too big a dream. Or at least he did before the season started. Then a funny thing called the regular season happened, and our perception of where UConn stood in the college landscape suddenly became a lot clearer. How did we see the NCAA Tournament going down? Read on, or click here to see the original article.

Mac:

UConn Finish: Elite Eight, maybe Final Four.

Final Four: Florida, UConn, Arizona, Louisville

Champion: Louisville

Upset Watch: Stephen F. Austin over VCU

Ben Cantor:

UConn Finish: Final Four

Final Four: Florida, UConn, Arizona, Duke

Champion: Florida

Upset Watch: Delaware over Michigan State

Matt Frank:

UConn Finish: Final Four

Final Four: Florida, UConn, Arizona, Wichita State

Champion: Florida

Upset Watch: Tulsa to the Sweet 16

Andrew:

UConn Finish: Round of 32 loss to Villanova

Final Four: Florida, Iowa State, Arizona, Duke

Champion: Florida

Upset Watch: Harvard over Cincinnati

Mark Corey:

UConn Finish: National Champions

Final Four: Florida, UConn, Arizona, Louisville

Champion: UConn

Upset Watch: Harvard over Cincinnati

Aman:

UConn Finish: Elite Eight

Final Four: Florida, Michigan State, Arizona, Louisville

Champion: Florida

Upset Watch: NC State over Saint Louis

Nooooo! Aman you had it right on the money! Well, you can't blame him, I more or less expected the same thing. That UConn was good enough to win it all, but sooner or later Michigan State, Virginia or Florida would come along and send the dream crashing down to reality. But that's the beautiful thing about sports, sometimes picking with your heart is better than picking with your head, because trivial things like probabilities and "what should happen" don't make a lick of difference once the players take the court. All that matters at that point is who wants it more and who is able to get the job done. So props to Mark for picking with his heart, if only we'd all done the same.

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