Connecticut’s dominate national championship run

Braden Fracassi ‘23, Social Media Manager

March is a time for the underdogs to shine. The time of year where upset is known to happen, and this year was no different This NCAA March Madness experienced the first Final Four without a 1, 2, or 3 seeded team, but the tournament was dominated by one team: University of Connecticut (UConn) ran through the competition beating every team they played. 

UConn started off the tournament by dominating Iona with a 87-63 win in the Round of 64. They proceeded to take down No. 5 seeded St. Marys next in the Round of 32, to punch their ticket to the Sweet Sixteen. UConn was set to play No. 8 seeded Arkansas who stunned their way to the Sweet 16 by beating No. 1 seeded Kansas in the Round of 32. As expected, UConn took care of business with a win over Arkansas 88-65.

The next round was the Elite Eight as UConn was finally an underdog, as they took on No. 3 seeded Gonzaga. Gonzaga was coming off a big win against UCLA 79-76, and was favored over UConn. The Huskies excelled as underdogs as they easily handled Gonzaga with an 82-54 win, and They were headed back to the Final Four for the first time in nine years.

Ahead of UConn was a showdown with a very talented Miami team. Miami had to beat a lot of good teams to get to the Final Four, which included No. 1 seeded Houston in the Sweet 16 and No. 2 seeded Texas in the Elite Eight to get to their first ever Final Four. UConn took a 13 point lead into the half and got the lead up to 20 in the second half before finishing the game with a win, 72-59. UConn was going to the National Championship to San Diego State, who won on a buzzer beater against Florida Atlantic to get to the National Championship. 

UConn controlled San Diego State from the very beginning as they went into halftime with a 12-point lead. The Huskies survived a late game surge from the Aztecs and finished the game with a 76-59 win. This is their fifth National Championship in 25 years. And to say that UConn was dominant is an understatement, as they won every game by an average of 20.6 points. 

The award for Most Outstanding Player in the entire tournament went to Adama Sanogo, UConn’s star center. During the six games in the tournament, he averaged 19.7 points per game along with 9.8 rebounds and 1.3 blocks. Senior Benny Leece said, “Sanogo was a big reason why I picked UConn to win my bracket this year.” Sanogo just declared for the 2023 NBA Draft: “Thank you UConn,” Sanogo wrote. “Thank you to the best fans in the country that have supported me from the first day I got to Storrs.”

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