UConn coach Dan Hurley tossed for pumping up crowd

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Rather than wait for March, UConn men’s basketball coach Dan Hurley started the madness a week early. On Tuesday evening, Hurley was ejected from his team’s game against 8th ranked Villanova.

Hurley wasn’t tossed for arguing a call or berating an official. He was shown the door after frantically waving his arms up and down in effort to get the crowd excited.

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With just under five minutes remaining in the first half and his Huskies clinging to a one-point lead, Hurley was whistled for a technical foul when he argued with an official over a non-call. Rather than retreat to the bench or walk the other way, Hurley exchanged a high five with one of his players then quickly pivoted towards the home crowd and enthusiastically encouraged the UConn faithful to get off their feet and make some noise.

Connecticut Huskies Head Coach Dan Hurley reacts to a play on the court during the first half of the College Basketball game between the UConn Huskies and St. Johns Red Storm on February 13, 2022, at Madison Square Garden in New York, NY. 

Connecticut Huskies Head Coach Dan Hurley reacts to a play on the court during the first half of the College Basketball game between the UConn Huskies and St. Johns Red Storm on February 13, 2022, at Madison Square Garden in New York, NY. 
(Photo by Gregory Fisher/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

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Connecticut’s home crowd obliged, sending a roar throughout the arena. Hurley’s actions struck a chord with one of the officials, who then handed UConn’s coach a second technical foul, which forced him to exit the game.

Connecticut Huskies Head Coach Dan Hurley reacts to an officials call on the court during the first half of the College Basketball game between the UConn Huskies and St. Johns Red Storm on February 13, 2022, at Madison Square Garden in New York, NY. 

Connecticut Huskies Head Coach Dan Hurley reacts to an officials call on the court during the first half of the College Basketball game between the UConn Huskies and St. Johns Red Storm on February 13, 2022, at Madison Square Garden in New York, NY. 
(Photo by Gregory Fisher/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

The unusual ouster may have served as extra motivation for UConn, who was looking to avenge a 9-point loss to Villanova earlier in the month. With Hurley hitting the showers earlier than expected, the Huskies washed away the feeling of regret and bested the visiting Wildcats 71-69.

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