UCF Fastbreak - Dec. 25

Dec. 25, 2007

ORLANDO, Fla. (www.ucfathletics.com) - When UCF met Connecticut in the first round of the 2005 NCAA Tournament, senior guards Dave Noel (Boynton Beach, Fla./Boynton Beach) and Mike O'Donnell (Largo, Fla./Largo) were far from their teammates. Due to NCAA rules, the players were sitting out the 2004-05 campaign after transferring to UCF.

As a result, Noel and O'Donnell did not travel with the team during the year and were forced to watch the tournament game on television.

Nearly three years later, the seniors will now have the chance to face the Huskies as UCF is set to host Connecticut on Dec. 28 at the new UCF Arena.

"I remember watching UCF play UConn in the tournament. I was wishing I was there," Noel said. "This is my opportunity."

No current member of either team appeared in the 2005 contest. The second-seeded Huskies held on for a 77-71 win over UCF in Worcester, Mass.

This season, the Huskies are part of the Knights' difficult non-league schedule. The squad has already faced opponents who played in the postseason a year ago on five occasions. Connecticut did not play in the postseason in 2007, but is 8-2 this year.

Noel has been pleased with the caliber of UCF's foes this season. Ten games into 2007-08, the Knights have met two ranked opponents.

"I am so happy that coach (Kirk Speraw) made the schedule like he did. We wanted to play against the best people and now we have the opportunity, so we need to make the best of it."

The Connecticut game is part of a special holiday ticket package that the UCF Athletics Association is currently offering.

For $25, fans will receive tickets to the Connecticut contest and for both of UCF's games at the UCF Holiday Classic (Dec. 30-31). The holiday package provides fans with a $10 discount as tickets to these three contests usually cost $35.

Fans should call 407-UCF-1000 to purchase the ticket package. Tip-off for Friday's contest is slated for 8 p.m.

For the latest news and information on the Knights, tickets or apparel log on to www.UCFAthletics.com - the official site for UCF varsity sports. Also check out UCFPhotos.com, the exclusive fan source for UCF action sports photos.

Notes: When the Knights faced Connecticut in 2005, the Huskies featured six future National Basketball Association players - Hilton Armstrong, Josh Boone, Denham Brown, Rudy Gay, Charlie Villanueva and Marcus Williams... The game with Connecticut will be aired live nationally on CSTV and will mark the first national television broadcast from the new UCF Arena.