UConn Men Are Headed to Sweet 16

Mar 25, 2014

Connecticut Huskies guard Shabazz Napier (13) drives past Villanova Wildcats guard Tony Chennault (5) in their NCAA tournament game on Saturday.
Credit Kevin Hoffman / UConn/USA TODAY Sports

The UConn men's basketball team is headed to the sweet 16 round of the NCAA tournament. The seventh-ranked Huskies had their hands full in the first two games of the tournament.

Last Thursday, the UConn men eked out an 89-81 overtime victory over St. Joseph's. Then on Saturday, they faced former Big East rival, number two-ranked Villanova.

Things got off to a shaky start for the Huskies. About eight minutes into the game, UConn was down by seven points. Their best player, senior point guard Shabazz Napier, was benched for his second foul.

Hartford Courant sports writer Dom Amore said the Huskies, using mainly bench players, dug down deep and fought back without their leading scorer. "Not only did they hold their own, they closed the gap," he said. "Their defense stifled Villanova from there on. UConn outscored them 16-1 over the next ten minutes or so to take the lead, and really, that was the turning point in the game."

UConn beat Villanova 77 to 65 to earn a spot in the sweet 16. Amore said the Huskies will have plenty of momentum going into Friday night's game in Madison Square Garden against the number three-ranked Iowa State.