UConn Huskies and San Diego State Aztecs are in this year’s NCAA Championship Game. These two teams reached the finals despite having slim chances before the start of the NCAA Tournament, thus delivering one of the most unexpected finishes in college basketball in the last few years.
No.5 Aztecs defeated the No.9 Florida Atlantic Owls, erasing a 14-point deficit in the second half, and hitting a buzzer-beater winner, scored by their guard Lamont Butler. The final result was 72-71 for San Diego. According to the stats, this was the fifth-biggest comeback in Final Four history.
“I always dreamed of this moment,” Butler said. “I’m just happy it was able to come to fruition.”
He didn’t score too many points, only nine, but by far, these two are the most important in the history of his university. The top scorer among the Aztecs was Matt Bradley, who had 21 buckets with six boards in 31 minutes on the floor. Jadon LeDee added 12 off the bench with six boards, but in only 15 minutes of play.
This was another tight ending for the Aztecs, who defeated Creighton in the same manner in the Elite Eight game, only back then, the free throws made the difference.
On the other side, Alijah Martin was unstoppable with 26 points and seven rebounds, but he didn’t have any help apart from Nicholas Boyd. Boyd scored 12 buckets, all behind the three-point line, hitting four downtown shots in seven attempts.
The Owls had everything in their hands, and once Butler scored the dagger, it was the first time that the Aztecs took over the lead.
In the other event, Uconn dominated the floor against the Miami Hurricanes, 72-59. It was yet another display of their quality, with the Huskies becoming only the sixth team since 1985 to reach the finals with five consecutive 10+point wins.
UConn was confident and patient right from the start, and as time went by, the Huskies began chopping Miami on both ends of the floor. They would slowly start pulling away before sealing the game in the late phase, securing a chance to win their fifth NCAA title.
Adama Sanogo was an enigma for the Hurricanes’ defense, with him delivering a double-double scoring 21 points and having 10 boards. He was 9-for-11 from the field. Jordan Hawkins ended the night with 13 points, while Tristen Newton had seven, with eight assists and five boards.
Miami had a poor shooting percentage, hitting only 20 of their 62 field goal attempts. Isaiah Wong scored 15 points, and Jordan Miller had 11 with ten boards. The No.5 Miami seemed like the team that could challenge the Huskies, but in the end, that didn’t happen, even though the Hurricanes gave their best shot.
Monday night will give us an answer on who wins this year’s NCAA title, with the rivals having completely opposite backgrounds. Aztecs appeared at the Final Four for the first time and immediately reached the finals, while on the other side, UConn has six appearances and four titles, though, without lost finals in the past four appearances.
The Huskies are solid favorites in the title game, with their victory odds set at -350. On the other side, SDSU is +250, and the spread is seven points. Regarding the Over/Under line, that is set at 131.5 points. The game venue is the NRG Stadium in Houston, and the tip-off is set for Monday at 9:20 pm Eastern time.
Nikola Velickovic is a sports journalist who loves to write and read on all sports. Nikola contributes both news updates and functions as a sports breaking news writer at WagerBop.