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Let the Basketball Wagering Begin

by Hugh McQuaid | Apr 4, 2014 11:43am
(4) Comments | Commenting has expired
Posted to: Sports

CTNJ file photo UConn is in the Final Four again and the friendly political wagers have begun. U.S. Rep. Joe Courtney and his colleague in Florida are both betting their teams will emerge victorious from Saturday’s semifinal men’s basketball matchup.

Courtney, a UConn Law School graduate, is betting against U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, of Florida, a two-time graduate of the University of Florida.

If the UConn Huskies defeat the Florida Gators, Wasserman Schultz has promised to give Courtney a platter of “epic burritos and famous guac” from the Burrito Bros. Taco Company in Gainesville, Florida.

However, if the Huskies lose to the Gators, Courtney is on the hook for a basket containing Munson’s Chocolates, Jarmoc cigars, beer from the Cottrell Brewing Company, maple syrup from Selbuort Valley Farms, and Cato Corner cheese.

In a press release, both representatives engaged in some obligatory posturing:

“Florida has looked strong in this year’s NCAA tournament, but we can’t forget the last team the Gators fell to this season: UConn,” Courtney said. “The Gators have already gotten a taste of Shabazz Napier’s last-second heroics, and with him and Kevin Ollie leading this UConn team, I’m confident we’ll see them playing again Monday for the National Championship.”

“As a Gator fan who bleeds orange and blue, I’m thrilled our guys have made it back to the Final Four of the Big Dance,” Wasserman Schultz said. “Unlike their last game versus UConn, the Gators are playing at full strength and with legendary coach Billy Donovan at the helm, Florida is just one Husky road-kill away en route to their 3rd basketball championship.”

According to the press release, Courtney is also betting that UConn’s women’s basketball team will defeat Stanford University during their matchup on Sunday. Courtney has wagered against U.S. Rep. Anna Eshoo that the Huskies will beat the Cardinals to move on to the women’s National Championship.

Courtney has wagered the same gift basket he bet on the Florida game while Eshoo has bet an assortment of California wine and California-grown artichoke.

“UConn women’s basketball’s track record of success is unparalleled, and this year’s team is carrying on that proud tradition of excellence,” Courtney said, in a statement. “Stanford has produced great teams over the years, but Coach Geno Auriemma has this group looking unstoppable. I’m predicting a UConn victory, and yet another visit to the White House for the Huskies.”

“I’m looking forward to an epic matchup between two titan teams,” Eshoo said. “Stanford women are facing a strong, top-seeded team from Connecticut, but they’ve got the guts and grit to ‘take it to the paint’ and bring home a victory. Fear the Tree, Joe!”

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(4) Comments

posted by: art vandelay | April 4, 2014  10:02pm

art vandelay

Isn’t it interesting that politicians & Connecticut sports fans are basking in UConn’s glory.  The program is bringing in millions. I even heard rumor that Coach Kevin Ollie chartered a jet and flew the team to Dallas just to visit the arena.  While all this is going on, the school is running a deficit.  The Board of Regents increased the cost of tuition 6% for next year.  Is there something seriously wrong with this picture?

posted by: MaryElizabeth | April 7, 2014  9:44am

“Art”:(love the username)  The trip to Dallas that you heard about that Kevin Ollie took with the Huskies - other than the one going on right now, occurred when the Huskies lost to SMU… they were already in Texas and I don’t believe any jet was involved… he brought them there as motivation for the team… showing them where the final four was going to be held.  Sounds like good coaching to me.

posted by: art vandelay | April 7, 2014  12:31pm

art vandelay

@Mary Elizabeth,
My gripe is that the Athletic Department brings in MILLIONS yet it remains in the Athletic Department.  Students & Parents who are struggling to get an advanced degree are being raked over the coals.  Massive student debts are being incurred while professors retire on 6 digit pensions.  Professor delegate work to graduate students etc etc.

posted by: MaryElizabeth | April 7, 2014  2:17pm

@Art Vandelay I agree about the concern regarding the cost of tuition and the university deficit and the unfair burden to students and parents. Without having seen the Athletic Dept’s budget or financials, I am not going to comment on what they do with their money, but I know that it is very expensive to operate such a program, and that other athletic programs also contribute revenue to their universities, so I would not be at all surprised to learn that UConn does this as well.  As far as the pensions of the professors, that is set up based on the agreement with the State of CT - collective bargaining units, and is a system that we have to honor until some new agreement is negotiated.