The UConn Huskies men’s basketball program has won its fifth national championship since 1999 after blowing out San Diego State, 76-59, on Monday night in Houston.

The Huskies’ length, athleticism, and aggressive defense were too much for an Aztec team that struggled offensively throughout the season. San Diego State scored only 24 points on 29% shooting in the first half and shot just 32.2% in the game.

The Aztecs held an early lead, but an 11-minute field goal drought allowed the Huskies to dictate the tempo and control the game. UConn outscored San Diego State 20-7 during that time, as the Aztecs could only manage to score from the free-throw line.

” We’re a great defensive team,” UConn guard Jordan Hawkins told the media after the game. “When we can get stops like that, get out in transition, that really impacts our game, really impacts the game. Just holding them to that stretch, I think that was really big for us.”

San Diego State looked overmatched throughout the game yet somehow cut the deficit to five points with 5:19 remaining thanks to a 14-4 run.

However, the Aztecs could not duplicate their comeback performance in the semifinals against Florida Atlantic as Jordan Hawkins and Tristen Newton helped the Huskies close the game on a 15-4 run.

“We ran into too good of a team, and we didn’t play at our best,” San Diego State head coach Brian Dutcher admitted after the game. “Like I said, they are a reason for that, why we didn’t play at our best, but we had to play better in order to have a chance to win the game.”

Newton led UConn with 19 points, Hawkins added 16, and Adama Sanogo was named the Tournament’s Most Outstanding Player. Keshad Johnson led San Diego State with 14 points.

“This was our vision. This was our dream,” UConn head coach Dan Hurley told the media. “This is what we talked about when we recruited these guys, that we could get together and do something big like this. It’s just great to come through on promises made to players and to this university.”


— UConn won its fifth national championship and fourth played in Texas. The Huskies have won two titles in Houston, one in San Antonio, and one in Arlington.

— Hurley becomes the third men’s basketball coach in school history to win a national title, joining Jim Calhoun (3) and Kevin Ollie (1).

— San Diego State was in the championship game for the first time in program history and became the first team from the Mountain West Conference to reach the final. The Aztecs were also the first team from California to play in the final since UCLA lost to Florida in 2006.


— UConn won each of its six NCAA Tournament games by double digits, joining Villanova, North Carolina, Duke, and Michigan State as the only five teams to do so. Its average margin of victory was 20 points.

— The Huskies were one of only two teams to score over 70 points in the NCAA Tournament against San Diego State this season.

— San Diego State entered the game averaging 26.6 points per game from its bench and was held to just 10 on Monday, all coming in the second half.


— Hurley on becoming the newest UConn coach to win a national championship
“It’s a little bit empty until you feel like you can join the club. I feel like now we’ve held up our end of the bargain that the women’s team has been carrying for so long since forever. It seems like. And Coach Calhoun and Kevin Ollie, Geno, it feels good to accomplish what they’ve done.”

— Dutcher on UConn’s game-closing run
“We battled. Battled back to five in the second half, but gave them too much separation. We had to be at our best.  We weren’t at our best. A lot had to do with UConn.”


— Both teams enter the offseason. San Diego State must replenish a roster featuring eight seniors, while UConn can return most of its lineup.