Entering the 1989-1990 season Jim Calhoun's UConn Huskies were unranked and under the radar. The Huskies got hot in the middle of the year following a blowout loss to St. John's. UConn rattled off 10 wins in a row including wins over Villanova, Syracuse, Georgetown and St. John's. That was good enough for UConn to crack the Top 25 where they would continue to climb all the way to #4 in the final AP Poll after winning the Big East Tournament.
The '90 Huskies were led by Connecticut native Chris Smith's 17ppg but he had plenty of support in Nadav Henefeld, Tate George, John Gwynn, Rod Sellers and Scott Burrell. That nucleus was good enough for a 27-5 record heading into the NCAA Tournament where they would be a #1 seed in the East Region.
Two easy wins against Boston University and Cal put UConn in the Sweet 16 against #5 seed Clemson. Tate George's buzzer beater gave UConn a birth in the Elite 8 and one win away from the Final Four.
An all-time classic vs. #3 Duke ended UConn's championship season when Christian Laettner hit a double clutch 16 footer at the buzzer to send the Huskies home.
The 1989-1990 UConnn Huskies provided the foundation on which future success came for the program.
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