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Huskies In The Final Four

The UConn men’s and women’s basketball teams are both in the Final Four, the men in Arlington, Texas, and the women in Nashville, Tenn. FOX CT will be there with both teams as they each hunt for another national championship.

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UConn coach Kevin Ollie draws laughs when he says “amen” the the athletic director’s mention of a raise.

UConn seniors Stefanie Dolson and Bria Hartley enjoy the moment at the championship rally.

UConn senior Shabazz Napier says the UConn seniors are going out with a bang.

Fans booed Gov. Dannel Malloy when he mispronounced the name of UConn women’s coach Geno Auriemma at Sunday’s dual championship parade and rally in Hartford.

UConn men’s basketball coach Kevin Ollie gets a long, loud ovation when he’s introduced at the rally following the parade Sunday at the State Capitol.

UConn men’s coach Kevin Ollie thanks the fans and praises women’s coach Geno Auriemma on his ninth NCAA championship at Sunday’s rally.

UConn women’s coach Geno Auriemma jokes with a girl in the crowd holding a sign inviting Shabazz Napier to the prom.

By Colin McDonough, Matt McDonough and Nick Greene, Hartford Courant

HARTFORD — The city celebrated the UConn men’s and women’s basketball teams’ national championships Sunday with a victory parade through downtown. And it was one of the biggest parties Hartford has ever seen.

An estimated 200,000 lined the city’s streets as blue and white confetti showered them while they cheered two teams and two trophies. After the parade, players, coaches and dignitaries addressed the crowd in a rally outside the Capitol.

“Is this a great day or what?” Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said. “I want to welcome you to the basketball capital of America: Hartford, Connecticut. … Both teams faced doubt, they faced criticism but they came back and they boasted that they were going to win and they did and we’re here to celebrate.”

Said UConn President Susan Herbst: “These students represent all UConn must be. Excellent leadership, academics and courage. We live, we work, we serve and we play in Connecticut and we love it.”

UConn won both the men’s and women’s national championships for the second time in school history. No other Division I school has accomplished the feat. In 2004, the last time both teams won the national championships, according to a Courant story at the time.

“I don’t know if I have a bad memory or what. I don’t think there’s been anything to rival this,” Auriemma said. “This has been without question, of all the ones I’ve experienced, far and away the best. … 2004 was great but something about today was pretty special.”

Sophomore Breanna Stewart said that sharing the stage with the men’s team made the day even sweeter.

“So many people came out and supported us and the fact that we can share this with the men and the state of Connecticut, it was awesome,” Stewart said.

Said men’s coach Kevin Ollie: ‘”It was just great to see all the fans and see everybody come out and fill the streets.”

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STORRS-For the second straight day, students and fans celebrated a national championship on the UConn campus. After the national champion men’s basketball team had a pep rally on Tuesday, the UConn women’s basketball was honored with a victory lap around campus on Wednesday.

The Huskies won its ninth national championship and completed a 40-0 season Tuesday night with a 79-58 win over previously unbeaten Notre Dame in Nashville. But coach Geno Auriemma and his players made sure the crowd knew that the day wasn’t all about them.

“I knew right then and there, that’s the best thing that could’ve happened to my players, that was so inspirational,” Auriemma said of the UConn men’s win over Kentucky Monday night. “You like to share things…winning is great…when you win by yourself it’s not as meaningful. What makes it even bigger, we’re able to share it with the men’s team and with the football team, with the track team, with the field hockey team…we’re able to share it with every student-athlete on campus.”

Read more at the Hartford Courant.

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