Unexpected win has UConn fans downing hot sauce for charity

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Connecticut's Tyrese Martin (4) shoots over DePaul's Romeo Weems during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Monday, Jan. 11, 2021, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

STORRS, Conn. – UConn fan Bryan Jackson says he thought his taste buds were safe when he joked last week on Twitter that he'd drink a spoonful of hot sauce if his Huskies came from behind to beat Marquette.

After all, it was already the second half, UConn was down by 18 points and its best player, James Bouknight, had gone down with an injury.

“I saw that people were very down on Twitter and I just wanted to add some levity to the situation,” he said. “I thought people might get a chuckle out of it. And the other aspect of it, it was kind of an offering to the basketball gods.”

The Huskies did come from behind, winning the Jan. 5 game by 65-54.

And so, in what has since become a viral video, Jackson, a 2006 UConn graduate who lives in Boston, posted a tweet of himself downing a large spoonful of Black Bison hot sauce, then taking another swig from the bottle, while chanting, "U-C-O-N-N, UConn, UConn, UConn."

Another fan tweeted that he believed all UConn fans should follow suit, in penance for doubting their Huskies.

Numerous fans began posting videos of themselves taking shots of hot sauce. They did it again when UConn (7-1, 4-1 Big East) went to Butler and won on Saturday, and more fans joined in after a close win on Monday at DePaul.

That's when the Husky Ticket Project stepped in. The charity, formed by three alums three years ago, raises money to send underprivileged kids to UConn football and basketball games. They organization asked everyone for a donation of at least $5 to go along with their hot-sauce shots.