The start of March often brings with it its own level of excitement for basketball fans, as the start of March Madness gets underway. It is an unpredictable college basketball tournament that sees the 68 best teams in the country competing in a single-elimination campaign to determine the NCAA Division I champions for the 2022-23 season.
This season’s edition of the tournament got underway on March 14, and there was no shortage of excitement leading up to the final between the UConn Huskies and San Diego State Aztecs on April 3. Read on to find out how this year's March Madness basketball champwent with all its ups and downs!
The championship game in March Madness this year was certainly one to remember, as the Huskies and Aztecs played out one of the best finals that we have seen in the history of the event. Ultimately, it was the Huskies that came out on top at NRG Stadium in Houston, as they landed a 76-59 victory. It was a historic moment for the Huskies, as it was their fifth championship victory in as many appearances.
Before the game, there wasn’t a lot of history between the two sides, as they had met on just one previous occasion, with the Huskies coming out on top by seven points. But, UConn was able to raise their game once again this year, as they landed a historic success by 12 point margin over their rivals.
The Huskies were representing the University of Connecticut and were coached by Dan Hurley for the fifth straight season. It was an incredible season for the underdogs, as they started the season unranked, before landing victories in their opening two games to earn a ranking of 25th. They made an incredible start to the season, overcoming Oregon and Iowa State to improve their non-conference record to an incredible 11-0.
However, the first loss of the season was suffered against Xavier, which led to a spiral in form. Over their next five games, they suffered four defeats, with their only defeat during that run against a ranked side coming against Marquette. Their only win over that period was picked up against Creighton.
Things began to improve after that with a success against Marquette later in the year before another defeat saw them end the campaign with an overall record of 24-7. At that stage, they were defeated by Providence in the Big East Tournament, before earning an at-large invitation to the NCAA Tournament.
Following the invitation, the Huskies were placed in the West Regional as the fourth seed. Both of their opening round games were played at MVP Park in New York before they landed victories to reach the semi-final stage of the Big East. Due to that stage of the tournament being played at Madison Square Garden, it meant that they continued to play in the New York area.
Their performances continued to improve, as they landed a victory by 24 points against Iona, before defeating fifth-seeded Saint Mary’s by 15 points in the second round to reach the regional semi-final. The Huskies continued to show their quality at that stage, as they landed a huge 23-point success over Arkansas in the third NCAA tournament game, before landing another 28-point huge success over Gonzaga in the regional final.
There was a clear step up in opposition in the Final Four, but they once again stepped up to the occasion, beating fifth seeds Miami. That set up their date with destiny against the Hurricanes to reach the Championship Game, something that they managed to achieve in good style by a 13-point margin. The success meant that they had reached a fifth NCAA Championship game, having won on all four previous appearances in 1999, 2004, 2011, and 2014.
The prestigious honour of the Most Outstanding Player in the finals was awarded to Adama Sanogo of the Huskies. He enjoyed one of his best games in the final, as he scored 17 points, ten rebounds, and a double-double. Tristen Newton also enjoyed an excellent finals appearance for the Huskies, as the star ended with a double-double after scoring 19 points and ten rebounds.
However, it was the performance level of the team that highlighted their historic moment. They made history by winning all six of the tournament games by a double-digit margin, becoming just the fifth team to achieve that feat since the format change in 1985.
It was one of the most exciting editions of March Madness in recent history, and that was concluded by seeing one of the most dominant teams since the format change. It was also a memorable weekend for both male and female teams, with the latter winning their first-ever championship 24 hours prior. That was also historic, as the teams became the first to achieve that feat in history.
After reading this article, you should be well prepared for next year's March Madness. If you're a basketball enthusiast, be sure to keep an eye out on Casinoshub for the best online sportsbook so that you can make some real money!
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