College basketball season is always an exciting time of year in Connecticut and this past year was no different.
In the 2015-'16 season, the UConn men's hoops squad returned to the NCAA Tournament and won its first conference tournament title since 2011, ending the season with a 25-11 record. The season was filled with highs and lows, and though it may have fallen short of fans' preseason expectations, there was still plenty to cheer about.
Here is a look back at the top five games from the 2015-2016 UConn men's basketball season.
On January 23rd in front of a sold out crowd at the XL Center, Big East basketball was back in Connecticut as old rival Georgetown stepped onto the court with the Huskies.
The old buzz was back in the building and the Huskies didn't disappoint the hometown crowd, defeating the Hoyas 68-62. Three UConn players scored in double-figures with Sterling Gibbs leading the way with 16 points.
Great job by the home crowd bringing the noise... It was a tournament atmosphere in XL today, which probably explains why Georgetown lost.— TheUConnBlog (@TheUConnBlog) January 23, 2016
4. A much-needed win over the class of the AAC
In UConn's 68-62 win over No. 21 SMU at the XL Center, Amida Brimah had maybe his most meaningful game as a Husky, scoring 16 points on 6-of-8 shooting with eight rebounds and five blocks. The big fella was able to stay out of foul trouble as well, playing 33 minutes.
Brimah triggered a key sequence late in the second half when he blocked a Jordan Tolbert shot with 5:10 left and then dunked after a pass from Omar Calhoun on the ensuing UConn possession, which put UConn up by nine with less then five minutes to play.
3. Claiming the conference tournament title
The third time was the charm for the Huskies in this year's American Athletic Conference championship game. UConn had been to the title game each of the last two years only to come home empty-handed following losses to Louisville and SMU. This year the Huskies took on Memphis and beat the Tigers for the third time this season, handing them a 72-58 loss.
UConn got off to a quick start and rode the defense to its first conference title since the 2011 Big East Championship. The Huskies led by as many as 16 in the first half and although Memphis made a run in the second half, UConn was able to hit some key shots to quell Tiger runs and pull away again down the stretch. Omar Calhoun put the game away for good when he hit a three-pointer to put the Huskies up nine with 2:44 left.
2. Comeback win in the NCAA Tournament
For much of the first 25 minutes in UConn's first round matchup with Colorado the Huskies were outplayed. They trailed 36-27 at halftime and were still down by seven with just over 15 minutes to play. That's when Rodney Purvis ignited a run with a steal and a dunk. From then on it was all Huskies as they grabbed a 74-67 win, outscoring Colorado 47-31 in the second half.
UConn iced the game with 22-23 free throw shooting- the second best free throw shooting performance in school history.
1. Another Clutch Shot (It was an incredible game too!)
All you have to do is say the name and UConn fans can easily picture the shot: Richard Hamilton, Denham Brown, Kemba Walker, Ryan Boatright and now Jalen Adams.
With UConn trailing Cincinnati by three-points and 0.8 seconds left in the third overtime of the AAC quarterfinals, Adams took the inbound pass from Daniel Hamilton and let it fly. The shot banked in to force another overtime and UConn eventually won the game 104-97 after four extra periods.
Even without that moment the game was already an instant classic. UConn trailed at the half before storming back to take a second half lead. The Huskies stayed ahead until the final minutes of regulation when Cincinnati fought back to tie it up and force overtime. Both teams had opportunities to win the game across two more hard fought overtimes and it looked like the Bearcats had it in the third when Kevin Johnson hit a three-pointer with 0.8 seconds left.
Daniel Hamilton scored 32 points to go along with 12 rebounds and eight assists as he led six UConn players in double-figures. Adams poured in 22 points for the Huskies and in fact tied the game at the end of the second overtime with a tough shot in the lane that easily gets lost in the shuffle.
It was an incredible game which may have saved the Huskies from a second straight NIT appearance.