NCAA Men’s National Title Recap
NCAA MEN’S NATIONAL TITLE RECAP – March Madness is officially over, and what an unpredictable tournament it was. On Monday night, the UConn Huskies became national champions with another dominant win over the San Digo State Aztecs in a jam-packed NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas.
Dan Hurley’s team once again won by double digits and finished off one of the most impressive tournament runs in recent memory. Tristen Newton led the way for the Huskies with 19 points and 10 rebounds and Adama Sanogo finished off an incredible tournament with 17 points and 10 rebounds.
Jordan Hawkins added another 16 points, and the tough UConn offense was too much for even the stingy Aztecs defense.
Since Lamont Butler’s thrilling game-winner against Florida Atlantic, the discussion was would the Aztecs be able to score enough points. In the first half, they went cold and walked into the tunnels with 24 points through the first 20 minutes. In the second half, they scored 35 points and were led by Keshad Johnson, marking the fifth time in six games that a different Aztecs player led the team in scoring.
Johnson finished with 14 points and Lamont Butler and Darrion trammel added 13 apiece. After the game, even with the difficult ending, Keshad Johnson expressed gratitude for the emotional roller coaster that was March Madness (h/t Julian Del Gaudio of Fox 5 San Diego).
“I really feel like a winner, despite the defeat, I feel like a winner.”
For UConn, it was a wild season. The Huskies began the year with 14 wins before losing six of the next eight games. The Huskies then ended the regular season with eight wins in nine games but lost to Marquette in the Big East Tournament.
Nonetheless, the Huskies run through the bracket showed how good they are, and Dan Hurley had a parting message after the game (h/t CBS Sports).
“They buried us before the season, and then they buried us in the mid-point.”
What comes next for these teams?
Both of these teams have promising futures. For the Aztecs, Matt Bradley, Adam Seiko, Aguek Arop, and Nathan Mensah will watch their college careers come to an end on the biggest stage. For others – such as Micah Parrish, Darrion Trammell, and Keshad Johnson – it will be interesting to see what the future holds. Lamont Butler should be back, and talented freshman such as Elijah Saunders, Demarshay Johnson Jr., and Miles Brd should become key contributors to Brian Dutcher’s team.
UConn will likely watch Jordan Hawkins head for the 2023 NBA Draft, but the Huskies should be a popular team in the top-5 of the way-too-early 2023-2024 rankings. This team isn’t going anywhere.
See you next season
March Madness 2023 will be one to remember forever. Fairleigh Dickinson’s historic upset, Princeton’s improbable Sweet 16 run, Florida Atlantic making the Final Four as a 9-seed, zero 1-seeds making the Final Four, Julian Strawther’s clutch game-winner against UCLA, Furman’s absurd ending to crush Virginia’s dreams, and Lamont Butler’s shot against Florida Atlantic, this tournament has come to an end.
One shining moment, indeed, and we can’t wait for the next college basketball season to begin.