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Getting to know the 2014 Final Four: Connecticut

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Connecticut All-American guard Shabazz Napier (Campus Insiders)

This week, The Dagger takes a deeper look at each of the four schools participating in the 2014 Final Four. We start with the East Regional champion, Connecticut.

Location: Storrs, Conn.
Enrollment: 22,595
Mascot: Huskies
Must Follow on Twitter: Phillip Nolan (@PhillipNolan0)
Find them here: Official team site or Twitter
How they got to Arlington: d. No. 10 St. Joseph’s, d. No. 2 Villanova, d. No. 3 Iowa State, d. No. 4 Michigan State.

[NCAA tournament: Full bracket | Check out Instant Reactions | Buy team gear]

Greatest basketball moment: The 1999 and 2004 national title teams were highly ranked and considered championship material for most of those seasons. The same can’t be said for the 2011 title team that won 11 consecutive postseason games behind the sharpshooting and playmaking of Kemba Walker to win the championship.  
Reason to root for them: The underdog story. The Huskies completed the regular season losing by 33 points to Louisville to finish third in the inaugural season of the American Athletic Conference. There was little reason to believe they were capable of a push to the Final Four at that point. UConn also needed overtime to get by St. Joseph’s to start its seemingly unlikely tournament run.
Reason to root against them: Some might consider it a reason to root for them, but the Huskies were not eligible for the postseason a year ago because of multiple years of failing scores in the NCAA’s Academic Progress Rate system. Winning a second national title in four seasons the year after serving that punishment almost makes it seem like no punishment at all.
Famous alumni:  Physicist David Lee, actress Meg Ryan, businessman Edward Kennedy Jr., CEO of U.S. operations for Walmart William Simon
Noteworthy: The Huskies are the first No. 7 seed to reach the Final Four since the tournament expended to 64 teams in 1985. In each of the Huskies’ three championship seasons, they were seeded either No. 1, 2 or 3.
Quote to note:  "His will to win - you could just see it. He wasn't going to let his team lose." Michigan State guard Gary Harris on Shabazz Napier
Must see video: Watch the Huskies celebrate their Elite Eight victory over Michigan State to reach the Final Four.

Check out more NCAA tournament coverage on Yahoo Sports:

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Kyle Ringo is the assistant editor of The Dagger on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at kyle.ringo@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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