College Hoops

10 crazy facts that define UConn’s run through March Madness

10 crazy facts that define UConn's run through March Madness

The No. 1 UConn men’s basketball team continued to make NCAA Tournament history as it advanced to a second-straight Final Four with a runaway 77-52 win over No. 3 Illinois in the Elite Eight on Saturday.

Dan Hurley’s Huskies advanced to Phoenix, where they will meet No. 4 Alabama in the Final Four for a chance to play in the national championship for the second straight year. No program has won back-to-back national titles since Florida in 2006 and 2007, and only two have accomplished the feat since UCLA in 1973, when only 25 teams were in the field.

Here are 10 eye-opening facts that have defined UConn’s NCAA Tournament dominance:

Saturday’s 30-0 run was the best in program history since a 32-0 start against New Hampshire in Dec. 1990.

The Elite Eight blitz was the first “triple kill shot” in any men’s Division I game in over three years, according to Evan Miyakawa, who defines a “kill shot” as a 10-0 scoring run.

Cam Spencer’s double-double was the first in his 130-game career.

The graduate guard had six rebounds in each half to finish with a career-high 12, he also had 11 points, five assists two blocks and a steal. Spencer’s previous career-high in rebounds was nine, which came against Lehigh on Feb. 20, 2022, in his third season at Loyola Maryland. His career-high nine assists came against St. John’s in the Big East Tournament semifinal.

Saturday’s win improved UConn to 35-3 on the year, setting a new program record for wins.

The previous mark of 34 was set in 1998-99 under Jim Calhoun. UConn was 34-2 that year and also won the Big East regular season and the Big East Tournament on its way to the program’s first national championship.

UConn held Illinois’ second-ranked offense to a season-low 52 points.

Ranked the second-best offense in the nation behind UConn entering Saturday’s meeting, Illinois’ previous scoring low was 64, coming twice against Marquette and Oakland in its second and third games of the season.

Illinois was 0-for-19 when challenging Donovan Clingan, Terrence Shannon Jr. scored four points with Stephon Castle in the game.

Clingan was named the East Region’s Most Outstanding Player after his 22 points, 10 rebounds, five blocks and three steals against the Illini. Castle was named to the All-Region team after helping to hold Shannon, averaging 28.3 points over the first three rounds of the tournament and 23.5 on the season, to a season-low eight points on 2-for-12 from the field.


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