Better Know An Opponent: Connecticut

This is the fourth in a (hopefully) six-part series highlighting 10 things you may not know about Mizzou's opponents in the NCAA Tournament. Please keep in mind that while everything below is true, it's meant in jest.

Part One -- Cornell

Part Two -- Marquette

Part Three -- Memphis

Today's profile: The Connecticut Huskies.

1) The University of Connecticut is located in Storrs, CT. See, but here's the thing: does anyone actually know where Connecticut is? Sure, you say, it's up in that New England region, next to New Delaware or whatever. To me, Connecticut has always been that state up north that isn't New York, Massachusetts or Rhode Island (aww, it's such a cute state!). Off the top of my head, without looking anything up, here is what I know about the State of Connecticut:

  • It's a state.
  • It's probably cold.
  • It's difficult to spell.
  • They have a college, apparently.

So if you think I could tell you where Storrs is, well, you overestimate me. Big time.

2) OK, I caved and looked up Storrs, CT. Turns out it's not even a city, but rather a part of a town. Storrs refers to the an area that is part of the town of Mansfield, Connecticut. Are you serious, University of Connecticut's hometown? You are getting far to easy to make fun of. I mean, which direction do I go in with this joke? I could say something along the lines of, "Congratulations, Storrs: you are to Connecticut what the intersection of Providence and Broadway is to Missouri." Or, I could make some crack about how UConn's so poor, they can't even afford a full town.

No, no, those are far too easy. Instead, I'll just reference this Venn diagram.


But that's not even the funniest thing about Storrs! No! In 2005, Slate named Storrs, Connecticut as (I'm not making this up) "America's Best Place to Avoid Death Due to Natural Disaster." Which, to me, proves that God hates the University of Connecticut. After all, He never shows up there.

(See what I did there? Yeah.)

3) The University of Connecticut is a land-grant university (like Texas A&M! How do I know that? Because they never shut up about it.), founded in 1881. Know what else happened in 1881, just 41 days after the school's founding as the Storrs Agricultural School? President James Garfield was shot. Know what else? Kansas became the first state to outlaw alcohol.

Coincidence? Methinks UConn has some major American tragedies to answer for.

4) This is the beautiful Connecticut campus in 1903:


To compare, this is the Missouri campus in 1903:


Yeah, I reused a joke. Big whoop, wanna fight about it? It's still funny.

5) UConn is often considered a "Public Ivy." Essentially, the idea is that it "provides an Ivy League collegiate experience at a public school price." Other schools that are considered Public Ivies are Texas, North Carolina, Vermont and Virginia, among others.

OK, that's cool. If you guys really think you guys are awesome, and this guy in this book named you so, more power to you. But then, in the "honorable mention" section of the book, you read this:

University of Colorado at Boulder.

Colorado. A Public Ivy. This school:


Sort of ruins the whole allure, doesn't it?

6) The University of Connecticut hosts a big concert every spring called Spring Weekend. Past artists have included Kanye West, Reel Big Fish, Third Eye Blind (remember them?), Nas and Dashboard Confessional. The only problem is that there have been near riots at many of the concerts.


This year's act? Quiet Riot. So at least people will be able to sleep this time.

7) What's that I hear, approaching from the distance? Why, it's EMBARRASSING ALUMNI TIME!


Professional dork Moby.


Raptor Charlie Villanueva. Oh, I'm sorry, he PLAYS for the Raptors. My mistake. But you have to admit, it's an easy mistake to make.


Sam Webb, the current leader of Communist Party USA. I'm not kidding in the least.


Meg Ryan, who fake orgasmed in a movie. She may have done some other stuff.

8) UConn head coach Jim Calhoun has pulled a rare double dip this season. For his first act, he yelled at a reporter who asked him about his salary. For his second, he was caught cheating. The next logical step? Punting a puppy. And I'm relatively sure I know someone that can help him with that...


9) On to the mascot. The University of Connecticut calls itself the Huskies, but they were originally called the Aggies while they were known as Connecticut Agricultural College (again, like Texas A&M! How do I know that? Because they never shut up about it.).

But now they're the Huskies, a name for a variety of sled dogs. The name of their mascot is super creative: Jonathan!


Seriously, UConn? Jonathan? You couldn't do better than Jonathan? Were you even trying? Was this an assignment that you finished five minutes before it was due?

All I have to say is, good thing Mizzou didn't go with its first choice of mascot name. Otherwise, we'd be high-fiving Ray the Tiger.

(SERIOUSLY?!? JONATHAN?!? Lamest. Mascot name. Ever.)

10) In January 2008, the University of Connecticut Health Center in Farmington, CT (note: actual town!) was forced to pay back $65,000 after PETA complained about the University's experimental brain surgery on monkeys. The results were very, very sad:


Pray for Mojo, indeed.

Tune in (hopefully) Tuesday for another edition of "Better Know An Opponent!"

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