UConn never stopped believing

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Believe, that's the word everyone used. The players, the coach, his wife, the mothers. Everyone associated with Connecticut kept coming back to believe.

It's a powerful tool, the power of conviction, the kind that can change the world, and yes, rebuild a basketball program.

Two years ago, Kevin Ollie told his Connecticut players that they were going to get through APR sanctions, a coaching change and player defections and come out on

the other side, a stronger, better team.

And they believed him.

Three months ago, after the Huskies lost to Louisville at home, Shabazz Napier gathered his teammates in the locker room and told them a crazy tale. He told them they were going to end the season holding the national championship trophy.

And they believed him.

Two months ago, Ryan Boatright went home to bury his cousin, a man who was more like a brother than a cousin. His mother sent her boy back to college and told him not to worry, that Arin Williams would be with him.

And he believed her.

Now, finally maybe everyone will believe in UConn. Counted out of virtually every game since this NCAA tournament began, the Huskies are now the national champions, 60-54 winners over Kentucky.

A year ago, the Huskies weren't allowed to play in the tournament.

And now they own it.

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