Dare to Dream : Connecticut Basketball's Remarkable March to the National Championship
The charismatic basketball coach at the University of Connecticut reveals the victorious secrets behind his team's breathtaking journey to the 1999 NCAA Division I National Championship--and along the way shares his philosophy for winning.It was one of those games that basketball fans will talk about for years. Here was the seemingly unbeatable Duke Blue Devils pitted against the first-time finalist Connecticut Huskies, and at stake was the ultimate crown: the National Championship. On that unforgettable night in St. Petersburg, Jim Calhoun and his amazing team wrote a new chapter in the storied history of the UConn Huskies program, putting the perfect exclamation point on a season to remember.
There are no customer reviews available at this time. Would you like to write a review?
December 31, 1998
Number of Print Pages*
Adobe DRM EPUB
* Number of eBook pages may differ. Click here for more information.
Excerpt from Dare to Dream by Jim Calhoun
I was down to my last dress shirt, and it was not a great shirt. I guess that is what happens when you never have been to the final game of the Final Four. You simply don't know how to pack. Other things seem more important.
The sleeves on the shirt were about an inch too short. The collar on the shirt simply wouldn't settle, the white wings on either side of my tie looking like they had started to fly out the windows of the suite at the Hyatt Regency Westshore in Tampa and into the Florida sky. I was not a picture from Gentlemen's Quarterly.
"You don't have something else " my wife, Pat, asked as I finished dressing.
"It's all that was left in the bag," I replied.
There was no debate about the tie. It was the same patterned purple tie I'd worn nine days earlier at the America West Arena in Phoenix, Arizona. It was a match for the black suit I'd also worn at the America West Arena. A friend, Bill Mitchell, a clothier in Westport, Connecticut, had given me three suits to wear for the weekend, but I was sticking with what I knew.
Pat was worried that the suit might have shrunk from the water dumped on top of me at the end of that Arizona afternoon--University of Connecticut 67, Gonzaga 62--but apparently it had come back from the cleaners in fine shape. If it had shrunk, well, it would match the shirt, then, wouldn't it
This was not a time for great changes.
* * *
I was the lead character in the story--not a story, really, but a saga--that was going to be played into the Neilsen-rated homes of America on this night of March 29, 1999. The Coach Who Couldn't Get to the Final Four. That was me. Now not only was I at the Final Four, I had a shot to win the damn thing. A 9 1/2-point underdog's shot, perhaps, but a shot.
The University of Connecticut vs. Duke.
NCAA Championship Game.9:18 P.M. (EST)
The Tropicana Dome, St. Petersburg, FL
CBS (Jim Nantz and Billy Packer).
I was cast as the coaching veteran of 27 years, the new grandfather, 56 years old, who had shown the patience of Job, the perseverance of Sisyphus, pushing that boulder up that long, torturous hill. I had reached the summit at last. The chains were gone; the great cloud had lifted.
I, to tell the truth, was less charmed by the tale than just about anyone. I gave no time to it. None at all.
I simply wanted to win that damn game.