UConn topped an impressive March Madness run Monday night, got down early and broke it open late to take home its fifth national title with a 76-59 win over San Diego State.
Adama Sanogo had 17 points and 10 rebounds and Tristen Newton also had 19 points and 10 boards for the Huskies (31-8), who became the fifth team since the bracket expanded in 1985 to win six NCAA Tournament games. In double digits en route to a championship.
They won six games by an average of 20 points, just a fraction less than what North Carolina did in winning the title in 2009.
UConn built a 16-point lead late in the first half, only to see the Aztecs (32-7) cut the lead to five with 5:19 left. But Jordan Hawkins (16 points) answered with a 3 to trigger a 9-0 run and the only play left was whether UConn would cover the 7 1/2-point spread and go six for six with double-digit wins.
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Keshad Johnson had 14 points for San Diego State, which came up short in its first trip to the Final Four.
UConn set the stage for it for an 11:07 stretch in the first half during which the Aztecs didn’t make a single basket. Unable to shoot or get around this tall, tall UConn team, they missed 14 straight shots from the floor.
They went from leading by four to trailing by 11, and when they couldn’t block shots (Alex Karaban had three and Sanogo had one) or convert inside, they came up short — a team that was a surprise. Hops off after a 72-71 buzzer-beater win over Florida Atlantic two nights ago.
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