Men’s College Basketball Season Highlights 2023
Editor & Writer
Editor & Writer
- March Madness officially kicked off March 12 with Selection Sunday. Since then, 67 teams have been eliminated.
- The San Diego State Aztecs and UConn Huskies competed on April 3 for the national title.
- UConn took home their fifth national title, and their first since the 2014 season.
- Now, UConn is tied for the fourth highest number of national championships in men's basketball.
Last week, the four remaining teams continued their quest toward a national championship title. The madness started early in this postseason tournament, and continued all the way through the final buzzer.
Two No. 1 ranked teams – Kansas and Purdue – and two No. 2 ranked teams – Marquette and Arizona – lost in the first two rounds. Fairleigh Dickinson University upset Purdue, which was the second time in tournament history that a No. 16 team beat out a No. 1 seed.
Meanwhile, lower-seeded teams made their mark on brackets and hearts. No. 15 Princeton, No. 9 Florida Atlantic University, and No. 8 Arkansas made it to the Sweet 16.
For the first time in history, the Elite Eight was absent of all No. 1 seeded teams.
Three of the four teams competing in the Final Four– Miami, San Diego State, and Florida Atlantic– had yet to cut down the nets for a National Championship. But UConn, the highest remaining seed at No. 4 took home the trophy on Monday night for the fifth time in school history.
The Huskies beat San Diego State 76-59, with 19 points from Tristen Newton, 17 from Adama Sanogo, and 16 from Jordan Hawkins. UConn scored 13 points off of turnovers and 16 from the bench.
Now, the Huskies' men's basketball team is tied with Indiana and Duke for the fourth highest number of NCAA national championships.
The Final Four Teams: Fast Facts
- The UConn Huskies won a national title back in 2014, and claimed their fifth overall championship this season. They won every single NCAA tournament game by double-digits on their road to the championship.
- The San Diego St. Aztecs had a lock-down defense throughout the entire tournament, keeping Furman to only 52 points in the second round and Alabama's Brandon Miller to only 3-for-19 in the Sweet 16, according to ESPN. In the final game, they held UConn to 76 points, but could not score enough points in return to win it.
- Florida Atlantic undoubtedly stunned basketball fans across the country in the postseason tournament. With an undefeated home record, first ever Conference USA title, and second ever March Madness bid, the Owls were only just beginning to find their groove in the regular season. After a historic run, the Owls lost to San Diego St. in the Final Four.
- Co-regular season ACC champs, the Miami Hurricanes, beat No. 2 Texas in the Elite Eight, coming back from a double-digit deficit. The Canes set a program record in points scored in an NCAA tournament game against Houston. The Canes lost in the Final Four against UConn, but had the greatest season in history to take home to Florida.
During the Final Four and beyond, each contendant exhibited team-wide talent. But some individual players stepped up to the plate during the Big Dance.
- Huskies co-captain and Big East Preseason Player of the Year, Adama Sanogo, has helped lead UConn to their national championship title. He averages 17.2 points and 7.7 rebounds per game. He took home Most Outstanding Player honors from the tournament.
- Guard Matt Bradley, first team All-Mountain West selection, is the only player for San Diego St. that consistently scores in the double-digits. He shoots 35.6% from the three-point line, and averages 12.6 points per game.
- Johnell Davis, sophomore guard from Florida Atlantic University racked up 29 points and 12 rebounds against Fairleigh Dickinson, the No. 16 team that took down Purdue in the first round. He scored 15 and 13 in the next two games against Tennessee and Kansas State.
- Guards Nijel Pack and Isaiah Wong are a dynamic duo for the Canes, scoring a combined 46 points in their win against Houston. Wong went on to score a team-high 15 points against UConn in the Final Four.
Regular Season Record-Holders
Even though none of these players competed in the national championship, they hold season offensive and defensive records, per NCAA Statistics. As of April 3:
- Yuri Collins from Saint Louis in the Atlantic 10 Conference claimed the most assists per game at just over an average of 10.
- Kentucky Wildcat Oscar Tshiebwe leads the nation in rebounds per game with an average of 13.7. Purdue's Zach Edey averages just .08 fewer rebounds per game than Tshiebwe.
- Senior guard Antoine Davis leads the country in points per game at 28.2 on average, bringing Detroit Mercy into the national spotlight.