UConn tops Alabama for men's basketball national championship berth

The UConn Huskies earned a shot at back-to-back men's basketball national championships Saturday with an 86-72 victory over the Alabama Crimson Tide.

The Huskies' starting lineup was in double figures in scoring and the team shot an impressive 50% from the field to remind the nation why they were the defending champions. The Huskies had a four-point lead at halftime, but broke the game open in the second half, outscoring the Crimson Tide by 10 points.

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Donovan Clingan dunk

UConn center Donovan Clingan (32) dunks against Alabama during the first half of the NCAA Final Four college basketball game Saturday, April 6, 2024, in Glendale, Arizona. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

Stephon Castle led the Huskies with 21 points and five rebounds. UConn also got a big game from Donovan Clingan. He had 18 points, five rebounds and four blocks.

Clingan made it a 10-point game with 5:10 left with a layup.

Alabama's Mark Sears did almost everything he could to keep the Crimson Tide in the game. He had 24 points, five rebounds and three assists. Grant Nelson added 19 points and 15 rebounds.

But Dan Hurley's team was simply too strong.

Nick Pringle dives for the ball

Alabama forward Nick Pringle (23) fights for a loose ball against UConn during the first half of the NCAA college basketball game in the Final Four, Saturday, April 6, 2024, in Glendale, Wash. Arizona. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

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After Sears made a 3-pointer with 2:54 left to cut the deficit to eight, Clingan dunk twice and Tristen Newton hit a 3-pointer. Before Alabama knew it, UConn led by as many as 15 with 1:07 left. the game.

Came Spencer put the finishing touches on the game with a 3-point basket with 33 seconds remaining.

That's all she wrote for Alabama.

Dan Hurley kisses Alex Karaban

UConn head coach Dan Hurley hugs forward Alex Karaban (11) during the second half of the NCAA college basketball game against Alabama in the Final Four, Saturday, April 6, 2024, at Glendale, Arizona. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

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UConn will now face Purdue for the national championship. The Boilermakers won their game against NC State earlier today.

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