The No. 4 Connecticut Huskies won their fifth national title Monday, beating the No. 5 San Diego State Aztecs 76-59 in Houston.
UConn has been dominant throughout the tournament, winning each of its games by double digits.
Meanwhile, the Aztecs have lived on the edge. They knocked off Florida Atlantic in the Final Four thanks to a buzzer-beater, go-ahead basket.
Here areupdates from throughout the men's national title game:
Tristen Newton had19points and 10 rebounds and Adama Sanogo, who was named the Final Four's Most Outstanding Player,added 17 points and 10 reboundsas UConn concluded its dominant NCAA tournament by holding offSan Diego State 76-59to winits fifth national championshipon Monday night.
The Aztecs dug themselves into a hole in the first half, shooting29 percent and trailing by 12 at halftime.
They continued to be down double digits until the Aztecsgot the lead down to six with a 9-0 run with eight minutes left.
Still, the Aztecs were down by only five when Jordan Hawkins, who finished with 16 points, hit athree-pointer at the top of the key three minutes later as the Huskiesput the game out of reach with their own 9-0 spurt to push the lead back to 14.
Keshad Johnson had 14 points for San Diego State, who shot only 33 percent and were making their first appearance in the national championship game.
The Huskies have maintained a double-digit lead through the first 10 minutes of the second half. UConn has a 49-36 lead at the under 12-minute media timeout.
San Diego State continues to build its own house of bricks, with the inability to find the rim on the outside or handle UConn's length inside.
The Aztecs have only 12 field goals and four assists through the first 30 minutes of the game.
The UConn Huskies are hungry for a win and Wayback Burgers wants to feed them. The Connecticut-based chain is offering the men's basketball team food for a year if they take home the national title.
Each member of the team will receive a free order of a burger, fries and shake every week for a year, according to a press release from Wayback Burgers.
“We’re big fans of Connecticut’s men’s college basketball team, so as you can imagine seeing your favorite team competing for the biggest win of the season on the national stage is exciting,” Wayback Burgers president Patrick Conlin said. “We wanted to throw a little extra incentive onto the court to help fuel their hunger to win."
Throughout the tournament, Wayback Burgers has also been running a Half Court Half Off promotion where customers get half off the price of their order when a player from any team scored a half-court shot.
The restaurant company has locations in 35 states andMorocco, Pakistan, The Netherlands, Ireland, South Africa, Japan andCanada.
UConn is 20 minutes away from a confetti shower and a fifth national championship. The Huskies took a 36-24lead into the break over San Diego State and got separation in the first half with a 16-2 run.
The Aztecs were held without a field goal for 11 minutes and shot 29 percent for the half, at one point missing 14 shots in a row before Darrion Trammell made a jumper with 5:26 left.
UConn’s length at the perimeter and their suffocating defense made San Diego State’s inside presence a non-factor.
Tristen Newton had nine points, while Jordan Hawkins and Adama Sanogo had seven points for UConn, who hit 50 percent of its shots.
Trammell scoredseven points for San Diego State.Lamont Butler and Keshad Johnsonchipped in with six points a piece.
The Connecticut Huskies warmed up fast and lead the San Diego State Aztecs 22-12 with 8:53 on the clock. They went on a 16-2 run, including an 8-0 stretch that put them ahead for the first time in the game. UConn has outrebounded San Diego State 12-8 as the Aztecs have missed their last 12 shots from the field.
“We have to finish at the rim,” head coach Brian Dutcher said on the ESPN broadcast during commercial break.
The national anthem before the San Diego State and UConn national championship game was sung by astronaut Tracy Dyson.
She was selected forthe Astronaut Candidate Training program in 1998 andhas been on two space flights.She was also atrack athlete at Cal State Fullerton before entering the space program.
The response to Dyson's rendition of the anthem?Well, you can watch it for yourself.
After the Aztecs took an early 6-2 lead with back-to-back three-point shots, they led the Huskies for the first five minutes of the game. Connecticut finally caught up with back-to-back field goals — a jumpshot each fromTristen Newton andAdama Sanogo. The game is tied at 10 with 14:42 on the clock.
The Connecticut Huskies and San Diego State Aztecs tipped off in Houston as they battle for the 2022-23 national championship.
UConn, seeking its fifth title,has won every game of the NCAA tournament by an average of 20.6 points. The Huskies are led byjunior forwardAdama Sanogo, who isaveraging 17.2 points per game and 7.6 rebounds. He had a double-double with 21 points and 10 rebounds in the semifinal win over the Miami Hurricanes. He's followed closely behind by sophomore guard Jordan Hawkins, who averages 16.2 ppg and had 14in the semifinals after recovering from a stomach bug.
The Aztecs are the underdogsin their first national championship appearance after losing in the first round the last two seasons. They've made the Sweet 16 twice before, including in 2011 when NBA champion Kawhi Leonard was on the team. Now, senior guard Matt Bradley is their leading scorer, averaging 12.7 points per game while tallying a team-high 21 in the semifinal against Florida Atlantic.
Who will take home the title? We'll find out tonight.
Connecticut or San Diego State? NCAA Tournament men's title game picks
From 68 to two. That's what is left of the NCAA men's tournament field after five rounds of play. Neither Connecticut nor San Diego State were popular picks to win the championship. They were seeded fourth and fifth, respectively.
Wild Final Four sets upunderdog San Diego State against four-time titlist UConn
Connecticut and San Diego State will meet Monday night for the national championship.
In basketball. College basketball. Men’s college basketball. Just to be as clear as possible: There were 352 Division I men’s teams during the 2022-23 season, and the No. 5 Aztecs and the No. 4 Huskies are the last two standing.
It can feel a little hard to believe.
San Diego State had never reached the Elite Eight before this season. Now, after athrilling, buzzer-beating epic against No. 9 Florida Atlantic, the Aztecs will look to join UNLV in 1990 as the only current mid-major programs to win the national championship.
Connecticut has won four since 1999, making a case along the way for being counted among the premier brands in the country. Yet the Huskies had made just three tournament appearances and never advanced past the opening weekend since winning the whole thing in 2014.
— Paul Myerberg
What time does men'snational championship game start?
The men's NCAA Tournament final is slated to begin at9:20 p.m. ET on Monday and will be broadcast onCBS.
FINAL FOUR RECAP:UConn continues March Madness domination, will play SDSU for title
San Diego State's run has been one of great building projects in college sports
HOUSTON — If your rooting interest in Monday night’s men’s championship game is up for grabs, may I suggest thinking about the poor, downtrodden undergrad of little-known San Diego State who will wake up this week to weather in the mid-60s with an oh-so-frigid low of 54 degrees and clear sunny.
Kidding aside, all of San Diego State’s — let’s call them natural advantages — make what they’ve accomplished there one of the most impressive, organically built powers in college sports.
— Dan Wolken
Even after calling so many of the biggest sporting events in recent memory — including Super Bowls, Masters tournaments and Final Four battles— Jim Nantz is still basking in the moment.
The iconic CBS play-by-play broadcaster will call his final NCAA basketball game Monday whenNo. 4 seed Connecticut and No. 5 seed San Diego State meetin the men's national championship game at NRG Stadium in Houston.
Despite facing his last college basketball broadcast, Nantz told USA TODAY Sports that "gratitude" was his prevailing emotion ahead of Monday's title game.
MEMORIES:Jim Nantz reflects on his last NCAA men's basketball championship broadcast: 'I'm nostalgic'
"This has been such a big part of my life," Nantz said. "It's always tough when you know you're not going to get to go through this again. ... I'm nostalgic but it's not a melancholy feeling right now. It's appreciation ...gratitude.
"And that's how I'm getting through this weekend with a smile on my face and not weeping."
— Richard Morin
Opinion: Huskies look unstoppable, inevitable
HOUSTON — The ball was on the baseline, in nearly an impossible spot, the pass needing to be sent through a thicket of bodies out to the perimeter where Alex Karaban had snuck away from everyone. Only UConn’s Tristen Newton knew where the 6-foot-8 sharpshooter was, and even with his lower body inches from going out of bounds, he fired the ball exactly where it had to go.
That was how the first half ended inUConn’s 72-59 deconstruction of Miamiin Saturday’s second national men’s semifinal, and though the game was not technically over, it might as well have been.
If Miami didn’t know it before, they certainly had to at that moment. UConn just had too many options, too many answers. And with each game on the march to Monday night, the Huskies have proven they’re beyond good.
They’re inevitable. And San Diego State is going to be the next to find out.
— Dan Wolken
Inside San Diego State's buzzer-beater win to advance
HOUSTON —San Diego State coach Brian Dutcher didn't bother calling a final timeoutbecause he didn't have a play he wantedto call.
He didn't need one.
Lamont Butler had already won the Aztecs one game this season on a buzzer-beater, no reason to think he couldn't do it again. Even if the stakes were just a tad higher than clinching the Mountain West title.
After trailing for the final 27-plus minutes, Butler gave San Diego State the only leadthat mattered, draining a pull-up jumper as time expired to stun Florida Atlantic 72-71 in the Final Four on Saturday night.
"(Coach) told me to go downhill, get something at the rim," Butler said. "They did a good job cutting me off. Once I looked up, it was two seconds left, I knew I had to make a shot.
— Nancy Armour
Devastated Florida Atlantic vows to make Final Four return
HOUSTON — It couldn’t have ended in more heartbreaking fashion, Florida Atlanticfalling to San Diego Stateright at the buzzerSaturday night 72-71.
There’s no doubt that the team and fans will be left frustrated as the Owls held a 14-point lead with under 15 minutes left in the game, all to be shrunken as time went on.
The Aztecs completed the third-largest comeback in national semifinals history and fifth largest in a Final Four.
After San Diego State’s Lamont Butler scored at the buzzer, Owls head coachDusty Maysat with his hands on his knees for an extended period of time.
Redshirt freshman Nick Boyd said that it’ll serve as motivation to get back to work.
“I'm not dwelling on it much," Boyd said. "I'm happy for our team. I mean, we put FAU on the map. When I came to this school and I committed here, I said this is what we're going to do.
—Zach Weinberger, Special to the Palm Beach Post