In a game with huge momentum swings, the UConn men came roaring back to beat No. 4 seed Michigan State 60-54 to advance to their fifth Final Four of the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament, and first under Coach Kevin Ollie (Colin McEnroe called it "incredible vindication" for the former UConn player, who's trying to fill the shoes of legendary coach Jim Calhoun).
Star guard Shabazz Napier scored 25 points while taking physical abuse all game, and the Huskies continued their hot streak at the foul line, converting 18 straight free throws in the second half.
— Rich Messina (@messinacourant) March 31, 2014
UConn went cold near the end of the first half, after jumping to an early lead, and Michigan State took a 32-23 early in the second half. That's when the Huskies, led by Napier, DeAndre Daniels (12 points, 8 rebounds) and Ryan Boatright (11 points) took control on both offense and defense.
The crowd in New York's Madison Square Garden also helped take control for the Huskies, giving the No. 7 seed a decided home-court advantage throughout the game.
— Sara Grant (@ItsMeSaraG) March 30, 2014
— Alex Syphers (@alexsyphers) March 30, 2014
— Jerry©®™ (@JerryS_23) March 30, 2014
Sweet sassy molassy Glen Miller pic.twitter.com/3QVFXtCOea
— We have enough (@NoEscalators) March 30, 2014
The team now goes to Arlington, Texas for the Final Four, and will play top overall seed Florida, which advanced by beating upstart Dayton Saturday. UConn beat Florida on a last-second basket by Napier on December 2 at Gampel Pavilion in Storrs. It was the last game Florida (36-2) lost this year.
The UConn Women (37-0) continue their quest for a ninth National Championship on Monday night in Lincoln, Nebraska, as they play Texas A&M in the quarterfinal round.