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UConn heads to title game after Final Four beatdown on Miami 72-59

Connecticut guard Andre Jackson Jr. dunks the ball over Miami forward Norchad Omier, right, during the second half of a Final Four college basketball game in the NCAA Tournament on Saturday, April 1, 2023, in Houston.
David J. Phillip
/
AP
Connecticut guard Andre Jackson Jr. dunks the ball over Miami forward Norchad Omier (right) during the second half of their Final Four game in the NCAA Tournament on Saturday, April 1, 2023, in Houston.

The University of Connecticut doled out another drama-free basketball beatdown Saturday, getting 21 points and 10 rebounds from Adama Sanogo to dispatch Miami 72-59 and move one win from the school’s fifth national title.

Jordan Hawkins overcame his stomach bug and scored 13 for the Huskies, who came into this most unexpected Final Four as the only team with any experience on college basketball’s final weekend and with the best seeding of the four teams in Houston — at No. 4.

Against fifth-seeded Miami, they were the best team on the court from beginning to end. Starting with three straight 3s — one jumper from Hawkins and two set shots from Sanogo — UConn took a quick 9-0 lead and never trailed.

On Monday in the title game, the Huskies will face San Diego State, which became the first team to hit a buzzer-beater while trailing in a Final Four game for a 72-71 victory over Florida Atlantic.

That was an all-timer. This one — more of the same from the Huskies (30-8). The double-digit victory over Miami was UConn’s closest win in five tournament games.

Some thought Miami (29-8), with four players who have scored 20 points at least three times this season, might be the team to challenge the Huskies. Not to be.

Isaiah Wong led the ’Canes with 15 points on 4-for-10 shooting. Harassed constantly by Sanogo, 7-foot-2 Donovan Clingan and the rest of Connecticut’s long-armed, rangy perimeter players, Miami, which came in with the nation’s fifth-best offense, shot 25% in the first half and 33.3% for the game.

UConn had its own sort of buzzer-beater. It was a 3 from Alex Karaban that sent the Huskies and coach Dan Hurley jogging into the locker room with a 13-point halftime lead.

Adama Sanogo #21 of the Connecticut Huskies celebrates with Head coach Dan Hurley after defeating the Miami Hurricanes 72-59 during the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament Final Four semifinal game at NRG Stadium on April 01, 2023 in Houston, Texas.
Gregory Shamus
/
Getty Images North America
Adama Sanogo of the Connecticut Huskies celebrates with head coach Dan Hurley after UConn defeated the Miami Hurricanes 72-59 in their NCAA Tournament Final Four matchup at NRG Stadium in Houston on April 1, 2023.

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