Uconn Huskies FInal Four
UConn guard Jordan Hawkins (24) celebrates after making a three-point basket in the second half of an Elite 8 college basketball game against UConn in the West Region final of the NCAA Tournament, Saturday, March 25, 2023, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)

UConn Huskies Humiliate Gonzaga and Advance to the Final Four

The UConn Huskies defeated the Gonzaga Bulldogs 82-54 and advanced to the Final Four for the sixth time in school history.

Huskies Dominate Bulldogs

After Gonzaga beat the UCLA Bruins in an all-time classic, their matchup against UConn looked to be one of the better games in the Elite Eight.

UConn just came off a blowout win against the Arkansas Razorbacks and was hoping to play their first competitive game in the tournament.

But Huskies head coach Dan Hurley was ready for the Bulldogs and their star player Drew Timme.

Timme, who was named a first-team All-American, entered Saturday’s game averaging 28, seven and four in the tournament. But with 17:39 left in the second half, Timme picked up his fourth foul, on the verge of fouling out of the game. It also didn’t help that the senior forward shot inefficiently against UConn, due to the extraordinary defense of Husky freshman Alex Karaban. Timme left his final college game with just 12 points.

It was not just Timme who shot poorly for Gonzaga. The Bulldogs shot 2-20 from beyond the arch.

For UConn, sophomore guard Jordan Hawkins has been a scoring machine for the Huskies. Hawkins continued his scoring prowess with a 20-point outing Saturday while shooting 6-10 from three.

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But the killer for Gonzaga was the second half. Other than Timme getting his fourth foul early on in the second half, the defense was nonexistent. UConn scored 43 points compared to Gonzaga’s 22. This plus Jordan Hawkins led to an 82-54 blowout by the Huskies.

UConn Going to Houston

The Huskies arrive in the Final Four for the first time in almost a decade. After being upset by a 10 and 12 seed in the previous two years, UConn was predicted by many to have the same fate. Ironically, the only time the Huskies were losing at halftime in this year’s March Madness tournament happened in their first game against Rick Pitino’s, now-former squad, Iona.

Since then, UConn has been the most dominant team in the tournament. Every single one of UConn’s victories has been by double digits. But have they gotten the easiest path?

UConn is the highest-seeded team left in the tournament and is the overwhelming favorite. But they have yet to beat a No. 1 seed like San Diego State and Miami have or beat multiple top-four seeds like FAU. No team has been better than UConn, although their competition has been underwhelming entering the Final Four.

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Next Up for the Huskies

UConn has its hands full with five-seed Miami. Miami has had a rough path to the Final Four. Miami has been the giant killer in this year’s March Madness. The Hurricanes have run through Houston, Texas and Indiana – all top-four seeds.

The Huskies are nine-point favorites against the Hurricanes. Being an underdog has yet to mean anything for Miami.

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Miami has yet to make it this far in program history. But Miami’s head coach Jim Larranaga has been to the Final Four before.

Larranaga led one of the greatest Cinderella runs in the history of March Madness when George Mason went to the Final Four in 2006. But the clock hit midnight for George Mason as they were defeated by the eventual champions, the Florida Gators.

Is the fate the same for this year’s Miami basketball team? We’ll see Saturday as tipoff starts at 8:49 p.m on Saturday.

About Nick VanZandt

Nick VanZandt is a senior journalism student at the University of Florida and this is his third semester working for WRUF.

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