NCAAM FINAL FOUR
Aztecs At The Horn
LaMont Butler Punches SDSU’s Ticket With Game-Winner; UConn Tops Miami With Another Comfortable Win
Hysteria in Houston! The Men’s Final Four tipped off last night with a wild finish that will live in NCAA Tournament lore, and it ended with another UConn walkover. It’s the Aztecs and Huskies — Mountain West vs. Big East — tomorrow night for the NCAA crown. Both teams scored 72 in the semifinal. Is that a recipe for a good game in the final? The finality of the madness is upon us. Here’s what happened in last night’s semifinals.
Final Four Highlights
One for the record books! Florida Atlantic and San Diego State delivered an instant classic in Saturday’s opener. FAU overcame early struggles to take a double-digit lead early in the second half after Alijah Martin (26 points) caught fire, but SDSU wouldn’t go down easy. The Aztecs scrapped back thanks to eight offensive rebounds in a two-minute span that erased the deficit. Trailing by one in the final seconds (70-71), SDSU got a stop on the final possession and got it to LaMont Butler who pushed it in transition and pulled up for the dagger (72-71). Butler’s 15-footer from the right wing will live in Final Four infamy. SDSU’s 14-point comeback was the fifth-largest in Final Four history. Matt Bradley led the Aztecs with 21 points and six rebounds, and Brian Dutcher’s SDSU squad gets UConn in their first-ever NCAA title game.
The title favorites keep rolling! UConn opened a portal to another level of basketball once again in the Final Four. The Huskies — who beat their first four opponents by an average of 22.5 points per game — jumped on Miami with a 9-0 start and never looked back. The Hurricanes punched back throughout, but nothing, and no one has found the antidote for UConn’s firepower. Adama Sanogo (21 points, 10 rebounds) had a double-double while shooting 81 percent. Jordan Hawkins added 13 and Andre Jackson Jr. slammed home a pair of alley-oop exclamation points to end Miami’s run. Connecticut has beaten all five opponents by double digits, and they’ve now won 11 consecutive NCAA Tournament games in the second or third weekends — Sweet 16 or later. Dan Hurley’s squad will be the clear favorite on Monday night against SDSU.
Men’s NCAA National Championship
#4 UConn vs. #5 San Diego State (Mon. 9:20 pm ET)
NCAAW FINAL FOUR
Clark Dethrones South Carolina
Iowa & Caitlin Clark (41 Points) Upset Unbeaten South Carolina, Set Up Title Match With LSU
Down go the champs! A thrilling Friday night at the women’s Final Four delivered a knockout blow to the last two No. 1 seeds. LSU toppled Virginia Tech and Iowa — fueled by superstar Caitlin Clark and another 41-point game — dropped the hammer on South Carolina’s perfect season. It’s Hawkeyes-Tigers for all the marbles this afternoon. But first, here’s how the Final Four played out on Friday.
Women’s Final Four Highlights
There’s a new women’s NCAA Tournament legend! While South Carolina entered Friday night’s Final Four clash with a perfect 36-0 record, Caitlin Clark and the Hawkeyes were standing in the way. Fresh off a 41-point triple-double in the Elite 8, Clark put up another 41 points (41-8-6) to upend the title favorites. The Hawkeyes put SC in a first-quarter deficit, but the Gamecocks rallied quickly, and a back-and-forth contest ensured. South Carolina never led by more than one, and Clark scored six points in the final 1:19 to ice the win. In fact, Clark scored or assisted on all of Iowa’s 18 4th-quarter points. Zia Cooke (24 points) led the Gamecocks, but Aliyah Boston (8 points, 10 rebounds) was held in check. South Carolina’s perfect season is over, but Clark dances into the title game riding the two best back-to-back performances in women’s NCAA Tournament history.
A 4th-quarter takeover by the Bayou Bengals! While the 1-seed Hokies of Virginia Tech were a heartwarming story in 2022-23, Kim Mulkey’s LSU renaissance was too much on Friday night. Va-Tech dominated in the second and third quarters of the semi-final to earn a nine-point lead heading to the fourth (59-50), but the final frame was all LSU. The Tigers outscored Va-tech 29-13 to reach their first title game in program history. Angel Reese (24 points, 12 rebounds, 3 blocks) was dominant per usual. And in Year 2 with LSU, Kim Mulkey has brought the program back to the summit of the women’s college game.
It’s #2 Iowa and #3 LSU this afternoon for the National Championship.
Women’s NCAA National Championship
#2 Iowa vs. #3 LSU (Today, 3:30 pm ET)