Jim Calhoun isn’t going to New York this week. He will watch some Big East Tournament basketball, he said, but since UConn is not there, he won’t be there.
But Calhoun, who led the Huskies to seven championships, took some time to savor the great memories of The Garden with WFAN’s Mike Francesa on Tuesday afternoon. If you didn’t here it, here is the full 22-minute segment on WFAN’s site.
Calhoun talked a lot about UConn’s first Big East Tournament championship, in that magical 1989-90 season we still call “The Dream Season” around here.
“We finally arrived where Connecticut needed to arrive. … I will never forget the way I felt the weekend I beat Georgetown and Syracuse, Jimmy [Boeheim] and John [Thompson], in the place I wanted to beat them. … The first one was special and the last one [in 2011] was special.”
If the Huskies were allowed to play in this Big East tournament as we’ve known it, “they would have been a tough out,” he said. The future is unsettled for UConn, but Calhoun said, “we’re going to be fine. Kevin Ollie did a tremendous job, we can build as other people have, but our schedule is going to have to change, we can’t count on playing six ranked teams in the Big East.”
The league tournament that had its wonderful showcase in Madison Square Garden will be gone, or at least no longer include UConn, which first made its national reputation there in what the coach kept calling “a neighborhood fight.”
“It’s sad … that tournament brings up so many memories for so many people, it was just phenominal. It captivated the greatest city in the world. … It was a great time, I’m just happy I was a part of it.”