UConn hosts fan send off ahead of Final Four trip

Published: Mar. 29, 2023 at 5:32 AM EDT|Updated: Mar. 29, 2023 at 11:30 PM EDT
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STORRS, CT (WFSB) - The University of Connecticut men’s basketball is packing up and heading to Houston for the Final Four of the NCAA Tournament.

Wednesday at 4 p.m., the Storrs campus was packed with fans for a send off celebration.

You can watch the send off below:

UConn fans send off Huskies ahead of Final Four

It was a selfie stick sendoff for UConn freshman Donovan Clingan.

Superfans are cheering the Huskies on to Houston, with head coach Dan Hurley leading his team to the Final Four.

“Feeling good. Ready to go. Ready to get to Houston,” Hurley said.

“Good team. We’re all excited about it. Great opportunity to add onto what we’ve done before. Couldn’t be prouder of them,” said Jim Calhoun, Former UConn Coach.

Greeted by the cheerleaders and pep band, the boys hopped on the bus to catch a chartered flight.

Hurley was in front in his Ford.

Drone 3 shows the hundreds of fans from above.

Students are feeling good, including senior Zach Zeller.

“They don’t have a weakness we got good 3-point shooters big men it’s going to be tough to beat us,” Zeller said.

“I’m a huge UConn fan and I wait outside Gampel for hours for every single game. I’m looking forward to seeing the team and hoping they win this,” added Maya Acker, UConn Senior.

Aaron Miller is such a big fan; he drove three and a half hours from New Jersey for the send-off.

“I feel like it’s going to be a big year. I think they win both games by a blowout so I wanted to experience this before it happens,” said Miller, of Scotch Plains, New Jersey.

“I knew right away this team could win the whole thing,” said Griffin Lindsay, Tolland. “They’re deep, they’re athletic, they penetrate the defense and they make guards do things they don’t want to do.”

Legendary UConn coach and three-time national champion Jim Calhoun is also ready to go.

“Good players. Good coaching. That helps a lot. You don’t win without good players and good coaching and they have all that,” Calhoun said.

The school announced the sendoff event on Tuesday.

When Channel 3 caught up with the players during a practice, they said the Final Four berth was a moment they’ve dreamt of for years.

“Living in Connecticut, growing up in the state my whole life, it’s a crazy feeling to wear that UConn jersey,” said Donovan Clingan, UConn freshman center and former Bristol Central High School standout.

“Seeing the four banners up there and seeing what Coach [Jim] Calhoun built, it’s something I wanted in my college career,” said Alex Karaban, UConn freshman forward. “I wanted to win a national championship and make it to the Final Four.”

The send off event is set to happen in front of the Werth Family Basketball Center on the Storrs campus.

The Huskies will play the University of Miami Hurricanes this Saturday. Tip off is at 8:49 p.m. The game can only be seen on Channel 3/CBS.

UConn earned its Final Four bid by defeating Gonzaga in the Elite 8, 82-54.

Stay with Channel 3 for continuing coverage of UConn’s march to a potential championship.