- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 19, 2009

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Jim Calhoun kept track of his top-seeded Connecticut Huskies from a hospital instead of a sideline bench.

All he missed on his sick day was one of the biggest routs in NCAA tournament history, a 103-47 win against Chattanooga in Thursday’s opening round.

Calhoun was admitted to the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania on Thursday afternoon for tests and will be kept overnight for observation.

An unnamed source told ESPN.com that the 66-year-old Calhoun was treated for dehydration and received IV fluids at the hospital. The school did not say what was wrong with the coach.

In a statement released by UConn, Calhoun said he will be re-evaluated Friday morning and hopes to be released then.

The Huskies hope the Hall of Famer will be back healthy and revitalized for the second round, and possibly beyond.

Associate head coach George Blaney said Calhoun called him at 11:45 a.m. and told him he felt “under the weather.”

Calhoun said in the statement that he has felt lousy the past few days.

UConn sports medicine director Dr. Jeff Anderson “recommended I not coach the game today and stay back at the hotel. As the day went on, he suggested that we go over to the hospital to have some testing done,” Calhoun said in the statement. “Fortunately, those tests have all gone well, and I’m feeling much better.”

Calhoun missed time in January 2008 with what the team called a combination of stress and exhaustion.

On Wednesday, Calhoun ran UConn’s practice in Philadelphia and attended the team’s news conference.

“Jim was fine at dinner last night. He woke up this morning and didn’t feel well,” said Tim Tolokan, UConn’s former sports information director and a close friend of Calhoun’s.

Calhoun’s son, Jeff, was at the Wachovia Center and said his father urged him to watch the Texas A&M-BYU; game, which the Aggies won 79-66.

Calhoun’s health was the only reason Connecticut had to worry.

Blaney coached the Huskies in Calhoun’s absence. A.J. Price and Hasheem Thabeet each scored 20 points in the third-largest victory ever in NCAA tournament history _ 103-47 against Chattanooga.

“I think we would have been more fired up if Coach was here,” Price said. “Chattanooga actually got off easy, I think, without Coach here.”

Blaney said Calhoun spoke with the team via speakerphone after the game, telling the players he expected to be back with the team very shortly.

“He told us it was a great performance,” Price said. “He was upbeat about everything. He told us he couldn’t wait to join us again. We can’t wait to have him back.”

The Huskies were loose in pregame warmups and Blaney smiled as he shook hands with the referees and other coaches. Blaney was introduced as UConn’s head coach during introductions and he shook hands with Chattanooga coach John Shulman.

Blaney coached Holy Cross for 22 years and led the Crusaders to three NCAA tournaments.

“Coach Calhoun prepared them for this kind of performance,” Blaney said. “He works them so hard. They were prepared to play well. We just talked to Coach. He expects to be with us shortly.”

This is the third NCAA tournament game Calhoun has missed. In the two previous instances, UConn went on to win the national title.

In 1999, Calhoun missed a first-round game against Texas-San Antonio. In 2004, he left a second-round game against DePaul after becoming ill. He returned just in time to see the end of UConn’s 72-55 victory.

Calhoun has missed 21 games in his career, including one other game this season _ a Jan. 3 contest against Rutgers.

Last May, the Hall of Fame coach was treated for a second bout of skin cancer. He had surgery to remove a lump in the upper right side of his neck near the jaw line and underwent radiation.

In 2003, Calhoun missed five games when he underwent surgery for prostate cancer.

His illness had other coaches concerned.

“I just heard about it as we were heading over to practice,” Boston College coach Al Skinner said. “Obviously the first thing you think about is, has the cancer come back? And of course you hope that’s not the case. I just hope he has an upset stomach.”

___

AP Basketball Writer Jim O’Connell in Philadelphia and AP Sports Writer Dave Campbell in Minneapolis contributed to this report.

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