The UConn Huskies won their fifth national championship and their fifth since 1999 with a win over the San Diego State Aztecs Monday night, 76-59.
This title is the first under head coach Dan Hurley and the Huskies' first since 2014.
The game ultimately came down to shotmaking from UConn and their suffocating defense, which at one point held the Aztecs without a field goal in the first half for eleven straight minutes.
UConn forward Adama Sanogo was named Most Outstanding Player of the tourney, recording a double-double with 17 points and 10 rebounds.
Guard play from Tristen Newton and Jordan Hawkins was too much for SDSU to handle as they both hit timely shots throughout en route to scoring 19 and 16 points each.
The game began with the Aztecs ahead of the first tv timeout 10-8. From there, UConn quickly responded and built up a lead as San Diego State simply could not hit a shot. It was a little over eleven minutes before Darrion Trammell finally made a field goal at the 5:25 mark in the first half.
Despite the shooting struggles, the Aztecs only trailed by twelve at halftime. As a team, they made only eight field goals to go along with nine turnovers. To have more turnovers than made shots and only be down twelve is a credit to the Aztecs' grit and mental toughness, something that got them here in the first place.
Unfortunately for SDSU, those attributes alone only can help a team for so long. UConn's interior game and shotmaking were just too much to handle as the Huskies' never gave up that halftime lead. Every time the Aztecs seemed to get a little bit of momentum, the Huskies responded right back, keeping them at bay all the way up to the final buzzer.
C/O2 the athletic.com
The man of the hour was no doubt Sanogo, who seemed to be everywhere on the court. Battling inside on both ends of the court set the tone for UConn early as he ripped down five offensive rebounds. His defensive rotations were perfect all night, helping on post ups and contesting drives like a madman was the reason the Aztecs could not buy a bucket in close. Sanogo no doubt joins the list of great UConn big men that probably never have to pay for a meal in the state of Connecticut.
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- W. Monast