UConn's Dan Hurley says lack of Big East teams in NCAA's March Madness 'sucks'


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Dan Hurley wants everyone to know that the Big East was robbed.

On Sunday, after seeing the performances of his conference as opposed to others, the UConn head coach said he wasn’t pleased with the committee’s decision to exclude Big East teams, notably St. John’s and Seton Hall.

“Look what we’ve done in non-conference games. Seton Hall beat us by 15. We’ve won eight-straight in this tournament, all by significant margins, but they were good enough to beat us, they were good enough to beat Marquette. There should have been five or six Big East teams in this tournament,” Hurley said after UConn advanced to the Sweet 16 on Sunday.

Only three Big East teams made the NCAA Tournament, and all of them have moved onto the Sweet 16. UConn, Marquette, and Creighton are a one-, two-, and three-seed, respectively, in the tournament, but the conference couldn’t crack the field of 68 anywhere else.

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UConn head coach Dan Hurley yells calls during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Providence, Saturday, March 9, 2024, in Providence, R.I.  (AP Photo/Mark Stockwell)

Before the NCAA tournament, fans argued that at least a couple other Big East programs should have made it.

The Red Storm, who made the Big East semifinal and lost to UConn, were the 25th-ranked team in the KenPom ratings, a college basketball and March Madness bible. They were the highest KenPom-rated team to miss the tournament. Seton Hall didn’t rank as highly (63rd), but, as Hurley pointed out, beat both UConn and Marquette during the regular season.

Dan Hurley at game

HOUSTON, TEXAS – APRIL 03: Head coach Dan Hurley of the Connecticut Huskies looks on during the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament Final Four championship game against the San Diego State Aztecs at NRG Stadium on April 03, 2023 in Houston, Texas.  (Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)

DEFENDING CHAMPION UCONN CONTINUES MARCH MADNESS DOMINANCE WITH BLOWOUT OVER NO. 9 NORTHWESTERN

When Virginia got blown out in the First Four by Colorado State, Hurley sure seemed to have a point, saying other big conference have “underperformed.” The SEC went 2-6 in the first round, including No. 3 Kentucky losing to No. 14 Oakland, and No. 4 Auburn falling to No. 13 Yale.

“The mistake was made,” Hurley added. “It sucks.”

dan hurley 1

Head coach Dan Hurley of the Connecticut Huskies reacts in the first half against the St. John’s Red Storm during the Semifinal round of the Big East Basketball Tournament at Madison Square Garden on March 15, 2024 in New York City.  (Sarah Stier/Getty Images)

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UConn will face No. 5 San Diego State in a rematch of last year’s national championship in the next round.

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