the westminster news
Published by the students of Westminster School
By Charlotte Covill ’25
This April, the UConn Huskies claimed the title of NCAA Men’s Basketball Champions. Connecticut immediately went into an uproar as their beloved men's team claimed their first title since 2014, dubbing the rural town of Storrs the ‘Basketball Capital of the World’. But with strong teams like Duke and Kansas, can UConn defend their title and become the eighth team to repeat victory?
It is entirely possible for the Huskies to reclaim the title of champions, just like the Florida Gators did in 2007. The team looks promising, with new freshmen like 5-star Stephon Castle, a 6’6” guard averaging 20.1 points his senior year. They are also welcoming Solomon Ball, a 6’3” left-handed combo guard hailing from Brewster Academy averaging 16.3 points per game his senior year. They have three more true freshmen joining them: Jayden Ross, Samson Johnson, and Youssouf Singare. Along with the incoming freshmen, the Huskies have returner Donovan Clingan, a 7’2” sophomore who appeared in all 39 games his freshman year; However, a star-studded line up is not enough to win a National Championship. The Huskies would have to defeat teams like UNC, Purdue, and overcome the ‘Disease of More.”’
‘The Disease of More’ is a term coined by Pat Riley to describe post-championship shifts in team behavior. This disease sets teams up for failure and can even send them down a path that results in the death of team chemistry. After a team wins a championship, the postseason chemistry can turn from sweet to sour with extreme swiftness, turning celebrations into desperation for another victory. For example, the 1980 Lakers team won the championship but the team became too focused on themselves to win again the next year. It is also extremely difficult for a sports team to win back-to-back championships as the competition is ever-changing and evolving.
So the question remains, can the ‘Basketball Capital of the World’ defend their title? In my opinion, I don’t think so. I think there are more developed and talented teams on the circuit this year that will get in UConn’s way. ‘The Disease of More’ is also a genuine component of the team's ability to win this upcoming March Madness; However, it is entirely possible for the Huskies to bring home another victory, but we will just have to wait and see.