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UConn Men’s Basketball Announces Home-and-Home Series with Florida

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The two programs have a short, but storied history.

Ian Bethune/The UConn Blog

UConn men’s basketball announced a home-and-home series with the Florida Gators, beginning on Nov. 17, 2019 in Connecticut. The Huskies will make the return trip to Gainesville the next season. The two teams could potentially play twice in the same week next season since Florida will also be in the Charleston Classic, which runs from Nov. 21-24.

The two programs have a short, but storied history. Their first-ever meeting came in the 1994 Sweet Sixteen, when Florida knocked UConn out 69-60 in overtime.

The Huskies got their revenge two decades later. On Dec. 2, 2013, the No. 15 Gators came to a sold-out Gampel Pavilion to face No. 12 UConn. Florida was 17.7 seconds left from a one-point victory. Shabazz Napier had other plans.

From there, Florida won their next 22 games and earned No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA Tournament. The Huskies stumbled the rest of the year and entered the tournament as a 7-seed. They met again, this time in the Final Four.

The Gators jumped out to 16-4 lead 12 minutes into the game and it looked like the magic of UConn’s run was finally running out. But suddenly, the Huskies woke up with an 11-point run in less than two minutes to get them right back in it. UConn went on to win 63-53 on their way to the program’s fourth national title.

The next season, the Huskies made their first trip to Gainesville and pulled out a 53-59 win.

Since that last meeting, both programs look very different. Florida head coach Billy Donovan left to coach the Oklahoma City Thunder in the NBA and the Gators haven’t been the same since, reaching the NCAA Tournament just twice under new coach Mike White. UConn, meanwhile, fired Kevin Ollie and is now under the helm of Dan Hurley.