Things took quite a turn this year for the UConn Huskies basketball programs on the men's side. For the past ten years, the women's Huskies won four national championships between 2013-2016. After losing in the sweet sixteen of the NCAA women's tournament, it was up to the men's program to get as far as they could in the men's tournament. The Huskies made a splash by winning the fifth national championship in the school's history against the San Diego State Aztecs.

Huskies fight hard

Beginning the 2022-23 Division I basketball season unranked and coming off a first round loss in last year's NCAA tournament, the Huskies weren't expected by many to make much a run for the title, but things can change.

Led by fourth year head coach Dan Hurley, the team started the season by winning their first 14 games and by the end of the year, the Huskies were the number two ranked team in the nation. Led by junior forward Adama Sanogo, from the African country of Mali, and sophomore guard Jordan Hawkins, the Huskies finished the regular season with a 24-7 record, and 13-7 record in conference play.

After getting knocked in the semifinals of the Big East tournament, the Huskies entered the tournament as a number four seed and quickly made up for last year's loss with an 87-63 win in the first round against the Iona college Gaels. Sanogo finished that game with 28 points and 13 rebounds. The next three victories against Saint Mary's, Arkansas, and Gonzaga brought the team to the final four against the Miami Hurricanes in a tournament that saw a lot of upsets and underdogs advancing.

The Huskies would win the game 72-59 to advance to the championship game.

Aztecs go off

After losing in the first round to the Creighton Bluejays in last year's tournament, the Aztecs hoped to have a better season from the start. Starting the season ranked at number 19, the team got off to a good start in non-conference play, winning nine out of 12.

Led by senior guards Matt Bradley and Darrion Trammell, and by sixth year head coach Brian Dutcher, the Aztecs finished with a 24-5 regular season record, going 15-3 in conference play. They also won the Mountain West conference championship with a 62-57 victory against the Utah State Aggies.

Starting off as a fifth seeded team in the tournament, the Aztecs started great with wins against Charleston and Furman to advance to the sweet sixteen where they faced the one seeded Alabama Crimson Tide, whom they would beat 71-64 and advance past the sweet sixteen round for the first time in school history.

The Aztecs would get their revenge on the Bluejays by beating them in a nail-biting 57-56 victory in the elite eight. Their next opponents were the Florida Atlantic Owls. Entering the game at 35-3, the Owls wanted to give the Aztecs all they could and by the end of the first half were in the lead at 40-33. The second half was all back and forth and it looked like it could go into overtime, when with one second left, with the Aztecs in possession, junior guard Lamont Butler hit a jumper at the buzzer to give his team a 72-71 victory and advance them to the title game against the Huskies, showing viewers of march madness why it is so special.

Title game

The championship game was all set for Mon.

April 3 at NRG Stadium in Houston, TX. The start of the game was in the Aztecs favor, as they went on an 8-4 run for the first three minutes of the game. However, the Huskies would soon take control of the ball, which intimidated the Aztecs as they were unable to make a shot or go around the defenders during an 11 minutes stretch of the half. By the end of the first half, the Huskies led 36-24.

The second half of the game was pretty much controlled by the Huskies, though the Aztecs would come within six on a layup from Trammell with 7:01 remaining, and again on a pair of free throws from senior forward Keshad Johnson with 5:19 remaining on the clock. It was all short-lived though as the Huskies answered back and won the championship 76-59.

It was the school's first title since 2014 and only the fifth in program history. Sanogo, who finished the game with 17 points and ten rebounds, was awarded most outstanding player of the game. It was a great victory for Huskies fans and for the school overall.