Sunday, March 30, 2014
Keys to victory: UConn 60, Michigan St. 54
By ESPN Stats & Information
Connecticut is headed back to the Final Four, and once again it will be there in unlikely fashion.
The Huskies are the second No. 7 seed ever to reach the national semifinals. Virginia made it in 1984 and lost to Houston.
What were the keys to the win on Sunday?
Star Watch: Napier reminiscent of Walker The last two players to lead their team to a Final Four while scoring or assisting on at least 45% of their team’s points in the tournament are Shabazz Napier and Kemba Walker, both from Connecticut.
Napier scored 25 points and was 9 for 9 from the free-throw line. The last player to score that much and shoot that well at the free throw line was Christian Laettner for Duke against Kentucky in the game in which Laettner was perfect from the field and free throw line and hit the buzzer-beating game-winner.
Huskies limit Spartans in the paint Michigan State scored six points in the paint, 14 fewer than its previous season low and the second fewest for any team in the last five Men’s Basketball Championships (Butler scored two vs Connecticut in 2011).
Michigan State on Sunday
>>14 in first half
The Spartans’ eight field-goal attempts in the paint are the fewest for any team in the last five tournaments.
Branden Dawson scored two points in the paint on 1-of-2 shooting. Entering Sunday, he was leading the tournament with 48 points in the paint.
Michigan State’s half-court offense did not have a good day. . In half-court offense, the Spartans had four more turnovers than they had field goals.
Huskies make their free throws Connecticut was 21 for 22 from the free-throw line, including 7 for 7 in the final five minutes.
For the tournament, the Huskies are 55 for 60 (92 percent) at the free throw line in the final 5 minutes of the second half/overtime.
Connecticut is currently 81-92 (88 percent) from the free throw line in the tournament. The team record for free-throw percentage in a single NCAA tournament (minimum three games) is 87 percent by St. John's in 1969.