SMU dominates for the ESPN cameras

SMU 73 UCONN 55

The next time the Connecticut Huskies come to Dallas, perhaps Kevin Ollie should ask Larry Brown if the game can be at AT&T Stadium.

The Huskies may have won the national championship last season at Jerry Jones’ house, but Moody Coliseum remains a house of horrors for them. They were the first team SMU beat in the renovated building, and this night was an even more dominating win for the Mustangs.

It was definitely an emotional week for SMU, as Brown was dealing with the loss of one of his mentors in Hall of Fame coach Dean Smith, followed by the aura of ESPN coming to Dallas for this game. But the Mustangs rose to the challenge, motivated by the fan turnout for the entire day which culminated in setting Moody attendance records for both a single game and the season.

“I started thinking about Matt Doherty, who I saw on Thursday,” Brown said about seeing the crowd that arrived early, “it was a lot because of him, he started this thing.. then we get this new building… but today – today was the best; to see our students here early, to see the school spirit.. I hope this is an annual thing because we have a program that’s worthy of it.”

“A few years ago, we didn’t have this,” guard Sterling Brown said, “so to see the fans out here having fun, just felt real good.”

It led to a complete game SMU hadn’t had in a while. The Mustangs pushed the tempo, attacked the basket and were all over the offensive glass – a far cry from what the Moody crowd saw last week when Cincinnati came to Dallas. The Ponies have now won three straight since that loss to the Bearcats – the only AAC team to beat SMU so far.

Most important of all, the Mustangs maintained the hold on first place in the AAC they grabbed earlier in the week as well as (likely) their spot in the Top 25. The former of those two may be the most important; with the American not as dominant as last year (SMU is currently the only ranked team), a regular season championship may be SMU’s best chance of getting an NCAA berth outside of winning the conference tournament.

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