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UConn Wins March Madness With Smothering Of San Diego State

Apr 3, 2023, 9:45 PM | Updated: 9:55 pm

UConn-Huskies-National-Championship-2023...

Alex Karaban #11 and Adama Sanogo #21 of the Connecticut Huskies celebrate with head coach Dan Hurley after defeating the San Diego State Aztecs 76-59 during the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament National Championship game at NRG Stadium on April 03, 2023 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

HOUSTON (AP)UConn topped off an impressive March Madness run on Monday night, clamping down early and breaking it open late to bring home its fifth national title with a 76-59 victory over San Diego State.

Adama Sanogo had 17 points and 10 rebounds and Tristen Newton also had a double-double with 19 points and 10 boards for the Huskies (31-8), who became the fifth team since the bracket expanded in 1985 to win all six NCAA Tournament games by double-digits on the way to a championship.

They won the six games by an average of an even 20 points, only a fraction less than what North Carolina did in sweeping to the title in 2009.

UConn built a 16-point lead late in the first half, only to see the Aztecs (32-7) trim 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 drama left was whether UConn would cover the 7 1/2-point spread and go six for six with double-digit wins.

Keshad Johnson had 14 points for San Diego State, which came up one win shy in this, its first trip to the Final Four.

UConn set the stage for this one over an 11:07 stretch in the first half during which the Aztecs didn’t make a single basket. Unable to shoot over or go around this tall, long UConn team, they missed 14 straight shots from the floor.

RELATED: Former KSL TV Anchor Jim Nantz Bids Farewell To March Madness

They went from leading by four to trailing by 11, and when they weren’t getting shots blocked (Alex Karaban had three and Sanogo had one) or altered on the inside, they were coming up short — a telltale sign of a team that was out of hops after that draining 72-71 buzzer-beater win over Florida Atlantic two nights earlier.

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UConn Wins March Madness With Smothering Of San Diego State