UConn head coach Dan Hurley cuts down the nets after the National Championship. This was the Huskies fifth national title in school history, placing them in the top five for most championships won.
photo by NCAA
The UConn Huskies squared off against the San Diego State Aztecs with a national championship on the line on April 3, 2023. This was the Aztecs’ first visit to the “big dance,” while UConn was fighting for their fifth title in program history. This was certainly a matchup no one predicted, as 0.59% of brackets had both of these teams in the Final Four. The Huskies were certainly the favorite in this game, boasting a -7 line over the Aztecs. UConn had dominated every game before this one, winning every matchup by a minimum of thirteen points.
SDSU started strong, shooting 4/5 from the field and holding UConn to 30%. However, eight minutes into the game, the Huskies went on a 20-5 run to claim a 12 point halftime lead. The Aztecs spiraled into a shooting nightmare, as they failed to score any field goals in spans of four minutes at a time for the rest of the game. UConn was known for their quick offense, and they did not disappoint. The Aztec defense simply could not keep up, and the offense production was practically nonexistent. SDSU tried to make a comeback in the final ten minutes, going on a 9-0 run, but that was squandered by Huskies MVP Adama Sanogo, as he scored six straight to put the game away. Sanogo posted a double double, with 17 points and 10 rebounds, which surged the Huskies to 76-59 victory.
Part of winning a national championship is trust in your teammates. Sanogo noted that in his interview after the confetti fell. “We have a special team,” Sanogo said. “I never doubted this team. We had everything we needed.”
On the losing side, SDSU head coach Brian Dutcher had nothing but respect for his team and his opponent. “It’s a really good team that beat us tonight,” Dutcher said. “Like I said, if we find a team that beats us, we’ll tip our hat to them. And they beat us, they were the better team and they are deserving national champs. But I love my team, I love my locker room.”
March Madness officially ends with the Huskies on top, and the dancing will continue all throughout the off season.