There are college basketball programs, and then there are elite college basketball programs. The UConn Huskies are in the elite category. So, there are college basketball venues and there are elite college basketball venues. Gampel Pavilion falls into that elite category.
With the Huskies Men’s and Women’s programs, the rafters are running out of room for NCAA Tournament Championship banners. The men have won the NCAA Tournament four times since 1999. They have been to five Final Fours, which means that once they get into the Final Four, they win 80% of them. That is an amazing percentage.
UConn has been to the Elite Eight 11 times, 10 since 1990. They have been to the Sweet Sixteen 17 times with 14 being since 1990. UConn has won nine conference tournaments, most of those on the Big East, which was one of the biggest.
Some of the great players to play for UConn over they years include Kemba Walker, Emeka Okafor, Shabazz Napier, Donyell Marshall, Richard Hamilton, Rudy Gay and Ray Allen. Their coach, Kevin Ollie played at UConn and also played in the NBA for years. He played for legendary coach Jim Calhoun, who led the Huskies from 1986-2012.
Gampel Pavilion has been the scene of all this winning tradition, opening in 1990. It holds 10,000 fans for Huskies home games and finding an empty seat is impossible. It is a small arena so every seat is close to the action. The action on the court is among the best in the nation.
The fan passion is among the most intense in college basketball. The students and band keep the noise level up. They stay into the game from beginning to end and they know their basketball. A game at the Gampel Pavilion is a must for any college basketball fan.
The Huskies were part of the great Big East Conference for years, but are now in the American Athletic Conference. Many of their old Big East rivals have made their way into the ACC, but the AAC still has some big time basketball powers such as Memphis, Cincinnati, Houston, and some rising powers such as UCF, USF, Tulsa and SMU.
The Huskies are the class of the AAC but there will still be some great home games in 2015-16 at Gampel Pavilion. Home games include Maine, New Hampshire, Ohio State, Memphis, East Carolina, Houston and UCF.
Many of the Huskies home games are played at the XL Center in Hartford. The XL Center is the former home of the Hartford Whalers of the NHL and is the current home of the Huskies Hockey team and also the Hartford Wolfpack of the AHL. Capacity there is over 15,000 so the Huskies bigger games are moved there to sell more tickets and accommodate the larger crowds.
Those home games include Sacred Heart, UMass Lowell, Central Connecticut, Temple, Tulane, Georgetown, Cincinnati, and SMU.
No matter which venue you go see the Huskies play, you will get a great college basketball experience. Don’t miss out on the great action of AAC college basketball this season.
image courtesy of uconn.edu