UConn Huskies are the new NCAA basketball champions, winning the title following a dominant victory over San Diego State. The final result of this event was 76-59 for the Huskies, who were in control throughout the entire game.
Everything was evident in the opening 20 minutes, with the Huskies making a 16-point lead with a little under three minutes until the break. Even though the Aztecs made a push that saw them trimming the deficit to five points, coming down to 60-55 midway through the second half, they didn’t have enough juice to keep pushing at the same tempo. With a quick 9-0 run, UConn had destroyed San Diego State’s dreams about coming back.
Adama Sanogo was once again in the middle of attention with 17 points and ten boards, earning the award for the Most Outstanding Player of the tournament. He was the key piece in head coach Dan Hurley’s game plan.
“To have the national championship just puts him in a position in one of the most storied programs in college basketball,” Hurley said. “He’s an all-time great.”
Following Kemba Walker and Shabazz Napier, Sanogo is another UConn talent to win the MOP award. Just to remind, this college created some fantastic players, like Ray Allen, Emeka Okafor, Richard Hamilton, etc.
Though we need to say that the finals saw another hero, as Tristen Newton also had a double-double, scoring 19 points, a team-high with 10 boards. He was the one who rebuffed the Aztecs in the moments of their comeback, and many believe that he should earn the game MVP honors. Besides them, Jordan Hawkins helped a lot with 16 buckets.
On the other side, the Aztecs, one of the biggest surprises in the last few years, couldn’t establish their fast-paced transition game. That’s why Sanogo and the Huskies exploited their physical strength in positional basketball. San Diego struggled to score a field goal in the first half, with a cold run of 11 minutes without one. During that stretch, the Aztecs missed 14 straight shots.
The UConn men are now …
🔹 10-1 in Final Four games
🔹 5-0 in title games
🔹 And have won 5 national titles in their 6 Final Fours
— ESPN (@espn) April 4, 2023
Keshad Johnson had a team-high 14 points for the Aztecs, while Darrion Trammell had 13, the same as Lamont Butler, the hero of the semifinal win over Florida Atlantic.
The Aztecs had only seven assists, which shows that the Huskies did their homework and prevented them from speeding up the pace. Only six threes in 23 attempts were another reason for a loss, because San Diego State simply didn’t have a solution to break the rival’s defense.
UConn was extremely dominant throughout the tournament, winning games with an average margin of 20 points. It is the fourth-highest margin ever since 1985 and the expansion to 64 teams in the tournament. A nine-point higher win would earn them the top place in that category.
This is the fifth title for the Huskies in six Final Four appearances. They didn’t lose in the past five, having some remarkable victories in the past and dominant runs. UConn has won all those five titles since 1999 and is currently the most successful basketball college in the past 25 years, which is a massive success. Besides this one, they won the championships in 1999, 2004, 2011, and 2014.
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.