UConn wins fifth national championship with victory over San Diego State

Published: Apr. 3, 2023 at 6:21 AM EDT|Updated: Apr. 4, 2023 at 6:11 AM EDT
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HOUSTON, TX (WFSB) - The University of Connecticut men’s basketball team won its fifth national championship with a 76-59 victory over San Diego State on Monday night.

UConn tied with Duke and Indiana for the fourth-most national championships all time. UConn won its prior championships in 1999, 2004, 2011, and 2014.

A championship pep rally will be held at Gampel on Tuesday afternoon. Doors will open at 4 p.m.

UConn smothered the Aztecs with defense.

Junior center Adam Sanogo scored 17 points and grabbed 10 rebounds for the Huskies. He was named the Final Four’s Most Outstanding Player.

Senior guard Tristen Newton led the Huskies in scoring with 19 points. He was a perfect 8-8 from the free throw line.

The 2023 Huskies were the second four-seed in history to win the NCAA Tournament.

UConn won every game in the tournament by double digits. It was a run that was one of the most impressive in history. Since 1985, only five teams won all six tournament games by double digits on the way to a title.

“We knew we were the best team in the tournament going in, and we just had to play to our level,” said UConn head coach Dan Hurley.

UConn guard Jordan Hawkins said he’ll celebrate with his cousin, Angel Reese, whose LSU women’s team won the title game on Sunday.

“It’s absolutely amazing that we both get this opportunity,” Hawkins said. “The family reunion is going to be crazy.”

Keshad Johnson scored 14 points for San Diego State, which was in the title for the first time.

“We had to be at our best. We weren’t at our best,” said San Diego State head coach Brian Dutcher. “A lot had to do with UConn.”

Ahead of the game, Dutcher said he he has confidence in his squad, and that they had proven that belief throughout the season.

However, Hurley had familiarity and maturity with his group. He said he had a defensive plan for everything.

UConn defeated Miami on Saturday night, 72-59, in the Final Four.