BOSTON — UConn head coach Dan Hurley didn’t need any extra motivation heading into Saturday’s East Regional showdown with No. 3 Illinois at TD Garden.

But Hurley received some anyway.

Hurley was tipped off of a social media post from former Illinois player turned ESPN analyst Sean Harrington. And it didn’t sit well with Hurley at all.

“I read a tweet last night, I think from a former Illinois player, Sean Harrington, who was a good player, who was McDonald’s All-American,” Hurley said following UConn’s dominant 77-52 win. “One of the staff members wanted to add a little more fuel to my fire, a little something, ‘UConn has not had to play against this physical a team and they’ve never seen someone like Terrence Shannon.’ Something along those lines.

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“Statements like that are just asinine. You’re going against beasts and monsters every night in the Big East, and the Big East prepared us for teams like Illinois.”

Hurley and UConn sure made a statement of their own, which came on the court. The Huskies slaughtered Illinois, using an unfathomable 30-0 run bridging the first and second halves to advance to the program’s seventh Final Four. They also swallowed up Shannon, limiting him to just eight points on a abysmal 2-for-12 shooting.

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UConn has dominated the tournament as of late, winning 10 straight games by double digits, which is an NCAA record.

The Huskies look to become the first team in nearly 20 years to repeat as national champions. They don’t need any more ammo. But sure will take it when it’s presented.

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“I like the slights,” Hurley said. “I think there’s obviously a lot of experts out there, maybe people that follow different conferences, haven’t seen Big East basketball. But we’re both on FOX — Big Ten and Big East — probably could have caught some more of those games. But we like those external things. Again, we were picked closer to fourth than we were third in the Big East preseason polls by the coaches. So any external that you give us — we heard the things that players were saying in the lead-up to this one.

“As defending national champs and what we’ve done since last February and how we’ve played in this tournament, we feel like we’ve earned a certain level of respect from media and opposing players when they face us right now because we’ve been that good.”

Featured image via Brian Fluharty/USA TODAY Sports Images