Last Updated 12:30 AM, April 02, 2023

UConn rolls again in double-digit win, advances to national title game

UConn vs. Miami - Final Four NCAA tournament extended highlights
3:06 am, April 2, 2023

UConn rolls again, beats Miami to advance to national title game

UConn defeats Miami 72-59 on Saturday at the Final Four

Another game, another double-digit victory for UConn. This latest moved the Huskies to the national championship game.

Though Miami made a charge in the second half, the Huskies led by as many as 20 and never below eight in the second half in a 72-59 win in Saturday's second semifinal. UConn (30-8) will now face San Diego State with a chance to win its fifth title since 1999. The Huskies have won all their 2023 NCAA tournament games by double figures.

The Hurricanes never had a good answer for Adama Sanogo, who scored 21 points on 11 shots to lead all players. But he didn't do it alone, as eight Huskies recorded at least two field goals.

"There's a lot of teams that want to play Monday. It means a lot to us. It means everything we work for. The work has paid off, and still going and keep working and be able to go Monday night," Sanogo said after the game.

Miami finished at only 32.3 percent shooting, though the Hurricanes did make seven consecutive shots to cut the deficit to eight at 53-45 when Isaiah Wong hit a 3 with 11:40 to play. Miami even got a missed shot from UConn a few moments later, but Donovan Clingan's putback was followed by a Jordan Hawkins 3-pointer to extend the UConn advantage to 13. Miami never got to within single digits again. In fact, after Bensley Joseph hit a 3-pointer to make it 62-52 with 6:13 left, the Hurricanes didn't make another field goal the rest of the game.

UConn, the highest-seeded team at the Final Four at No. 4 and the only program to have Final Four experience, looked like the same group that crushed its first four NCAA tournament opponents by an average of 22.5 points for much of the game.

The Hurricanes (29-8), in their first Final Four appearance, never led and only briefly tied the game at 19 in the first half.

"We just tried to build what every Miami basketball team should try to reach each season," the Hurricanes' Jordan Miller said. "I think we did a good job of laying down that foundation. Obviously it didn't end out the way we wanted it to, but regardless, at the end of the day, if you make history, school history, you're a winner in some shape or form."

Miami final stats
UConn final stats
2:48 am, April 2, 2023

Miami catches fire, but UConn is up double digits

UConn leads Miami in the second half

A streak of seven consecutive made shots lifted Miami to within eight, but two much-needed baskets brought UConn back up 58-45 with 9:46 remaining.

Miami, which shot 25 percent in the opening half, is up to 57.1 percent in the second. Isaiah Wong has scored seven of his 12 to assist the push, as UConn had led by 19 earlier.

As was the case in the first half, turnovers have been the roughest plague for UConn, with the Huskies now up to 10 in the game to Miami's five. But Adama Sanogo has 19 points on nine shots and the Huskies are +8 on the glass.

2:05 am, April 2, 2023

UConn rolling, up 13 at the half

UConn leads Miami at the half

UConn is halfway to another double-digit tournament win — and a spot in the title game.

The Huskies held Miami to 25 percent shooting while making half of their shots, including six 3-pointers, to take a strong 37-24 lead into the break. The Hurricanes took eight more shots than UConn because of rebounds and Huskies turnovers, but the shots haven't fallen.

Miami has 20 minutes to make a push or become another victim of dominating UConn in this tournament.

Miami first half stats
UConn first half stats
1:51 am, April 2, 2023

UConn overcomes turnover issues to maintain edge

UConn leads Miami in the first half

The Huskies have had bouts of unforced errors with turnovers and issues on the defensive glass, but UConn hasn't suffered on the scoreboard just yet, leading 27-19 with 4:17 to play before halftime.

Though Miami fought back to within 21-19 in part from eight offensive rebounds in the first half, UConn is outshooting the Hurricanes 50 percent to 23.3. Adama Sanogo is up to 13 points on 5-for-6 shooting.

1:32 am, April 2, 2023

UConn up early, 16-9 with 11:41 to play in the first half

UConn leads Miami early

UConn has done nothing but win big this tournament. There's still most of the game to play, but the Huskies are off to a fast start.

As UConn holds Miami to 20 percent shooting, the Huskies are firing away with four 3-pointers to go up 16-9 at 11:41 to play in the first half. The Huskies came into the Final Four with an average margin of victory of 22.5 points this tournament. One potential worry point, however, is Andre Jackson Jr. has picked up two fouls.

1:06 am, April 2, 2023

Starting lineups are in for the second semifinal

NRG Stadium is still buzzing from the San Diego State-FAU buzzer-beating shot, but there's still another game to play.

Here's how the game will start on the court:

Miami starters
UConn starters
8:27 pm, March 31, 2023

How to watch UConn-Miami in the Final Four

Miami defeated Texas in the Elite Eight

The second semifinal will see the Huskies meet the Hurricanes. Here's how you can watch:

  • Time: 8:49 p.m. ET (tentative) on Saturday, April 1
  • Location: NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas
  • Stream: Right here!
  • TV: CBS
7:38 pm, March 31, 2023

What the stats say

Here's how the Hurricanes and Huskies stack up on key statistics. Despite its eight losses — the most of the remaining four teams — UConn has been the most dominant, according to the stats. The Huskies rank second nationally in both scoring margin (+14.4) and rebound margin (+9.3)

No. 5 Miami (Fla.)

No. 4 UConn

29-7 (15-5 ACC) RECORD (CONFERENCE) 29-8 (13-7 Big East)
No. 5 Seed No. 4
79.6 PPG 78.8
48.4 Shooting % 46.4
71.9 Points against 64.4
44.6 FG % defense 40.4
+2.9 Rebound margin +9.4
14.6 Assists per game 17.6
1.3 Assist/turnover ratio 1.4
7.3 Steals per game 6.3
3.2 Blocks per game 4.8
Isaiah Wong, 16.2 Scoring leader Adama Sanogo, 17.1
Norchad Omier, 10.1 Rebounding leader Adama Sanogo, 7.5
Isaiah Wong, 3.2 Assists leader Tristen Newton, 4.6
7:37 pm, March 31, 2023

Elite Eight look back: Hawkins' 6 3-pointers help rout Gonzaga

Jordan Hawkins sinks six threes in UConn's Elite Eight win
7:34 pm, March 31, 2023

UConn vs. Miami, previewed

Miami's Nijel Pack plays in the 2023 NCAA tournament

Going into Houston, UConn stands apart.

With the rest of the Final Four made up of three first-time participants, the Huskies come in with the highest seed (No. 4), four prior national championships and a margin of victory of 22.5 points in four NCAA tournament games. UConn has even won it all here before, beating Butler in the 2011 final in the same stadium — then Reliant, now NRG.

But in a tournament full of shockers — No. 16 FDU taking out No. 1 Purdue, No. 15 Princeton making the Sweet 16 and all No. 1 seeds gone before the Elite Eight for the first time ever — March Madness is always lurking.

Plus, though UConn comes in as the favorite, it's not like the Huskies have been a dominant force forever. The Huskies even had three consecutive losing seasons from 2016-17 through 2018-19, the last one in Dan Hurley's first season as coach.

"Even when you're down and you have UConn across your chest, you're still everyone's — it's still a Super Bowl for the other coach and the other players because of the history and tradition," Hurley said Friday. "So while you're trying to make that climb back up the mountain, you're starting over. History and tradition doesn't help you win anything. It just probably makes your opponents want to beat you more and it adds a little bit more pressure going into every competition.

"So, yeah, I'm proud of how we've gotten here. We built the program."

Men's Previews: No. 4 UConn vs. No. 5 Miami (Fla.)

Though no one has matched UConn's dominance this tournament, it's not like Miami (Fla.) has come here accidentally. The Hurricanes beat No. 4 Indiana by 16 in the second round, took out No. 1 seed Houston by 14 and scorched No. 2 Texas with 51 second-half points in an 88-81 win.

Four wins. Three different leading scorers: Nijel Pack's 21 against Drake, Isaiah Wong's 27 vs. Indiana, Pack again with 26 to top Houston, Jordan Miller's 27 against Texas.

The Hurricanes also tied Virginia for the ACC regular season crown before falling to then-surging Duke in the ACC tournament semifinals.

Much like the pair in the other semifinal, Miami is a first-time Final Four team. No 5 seed has ever won the title, either. Then again, no Miami team has been here before. Not that the Hurricanes mind being overlooked.

"First off, credit to UConn, they're a great team," Miami's Jordan Miller said this week. "They played some good teams to get here. I think they have some really good guards that lead them in assists that really make the team run. Obviously they have a really dominant big man in the post who swallows up rebounds and plays really hard.

"But I think personally we've had one of the hardest sides of the bracket. I think we've played some really, really elite teams. I mean, everybody, I believe, had us losing to all those teams. So we're fine with being the underdogs — we've been all year."

7:33 pm, March 31, 2023

Elite Eight look back: Miller's perfect day lifts Miami

Jordan Miller: Perfect shooting night leads Miami to Final Four
7:24 pm, March 31, 2023

How they got here

UConn crushed Gonzaga in the Elite Eight to advance to the Final Four

UConn is back in the Final Four for the sixth time as the Huskies seek their fifth national championship. Miami is in the national semifinals for the first time.

Here's how they made it to Houston:

No. 5 Miami (Fla.)

No. 4 UConn

Def. No. 12 Drake, 63-56 First Round Def. No. 13 Iona, 87-63
Def. No. 4 Indiana, 85-69 Second Round Def. No. 5 Saint Mary's, 70-55
Def. No. 1 Houston, 89-75 Sweet 16 Def. No. 8 Arkansas, 88-65
Def. No. 2 Texas, 88-81 Elite Eight Def. No. 3 Gonzaga, 82-54