After a sluggish first half, No. 9 seed Connecticut came out firing in the second, quickly turning a nine-point deficit into a lead it would not relinquish, ultimately beating No. 8 Colorado, 74–67. to move onto the second round in the NCAA tournament. Three Huskies—junior guard Rodney Purvis (19 points), sophomore guard Daniel Hamilton (17) and senior guard Sterling Gibbs (12)—scored in double figures during the win.
Why it mattered
The Huskies may have been 0.8 seconds away from missing out on the tournament field, but a dramatic three-quarters court buzzer-beater by freshman guard Jalen Adams propelled them to the AAC championship and a No. 9 seed in the Big Dance. There just seems to be something about this program under coach Kevin Ollie once it gets into the NCAAs. Hamilton and Purvis, who combined for 36 points on 13-for-25 shooting, showed that this can be a multi-faceted offense, capable of hanging with the big boys in the field. That will be crucial, given the juggernaut they will likely face in the second round.
Unless Austin Peay can pull off the biggest upset in NCAA history, the Huskies will face off with No. 1 overall seed Kansas in the second round on Saturday in a showdown between two of the country’s tournament stalwarts.