Erica Denhoff/ALOST

akoiki-passport2 – by Adesina O. Koiki
A Lot of Sports Talk editor-in-chief

BOSTON — With the Boston Marathon in town in a couple of weeks, it was fitting that the Connecticut Huskies turned their latest stop on their near-inexorable march toward history into a jaw-dropping lapping of the field in the East Region of the NCAA Tournament.

And similar to the hordes of Ethiopians and Kenyans who have dominated distance running around the world, the 2024 edition of the Huskies currently breathe a thin, rarefied air that soon should start the debate of where the squad should be placed amongst the greatest teams to play the sport..

The No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA Tournament, the Huskies broke the finish line tape on their way to Phoenix and the Final Four with a 77-52 victory over third-ranked Illinois inside TD Garden, clinching a return trip to college basketball’s biggest stage and allowing journalists and spectators alike to take a breath to digest the utter dominance that was witnessed. Included in Connecticut’s coronation was a 30-0 run that spanned the first and second halves, with the Huskies scoring the first 25 points of the second stanza in a display rarely ever seen at this stage of the NCAA Tournament.

It was 1973, 21-of-22 from the field Waltonesque. It was 1990, 30-point-national-championship-game victory UNLV-like. Only the greatest of the great performances could reasonably be compared to the Huskies dominance today and throughout the tournament, winning their four games so far by an average of 27.7 points per game.

In the marathon that is the NCAA Tournament, the Huskies are running away and hiding.

Correction. UConn is running away from the field while dealing out hidings to whomever stands in its way from national championship No. 6.

Obviously, we go into all these games believing that it’s going to be a 40-minute battle to the end,” UConn head coach Dan Hurley said. “But, again, we were able to systematically break them down in the second half there.”

*Editor’s note: Above the byline is the photo gallery from Saturday evening’s game, with photos taken by ALOST staff photographer Erica Denhoff. After clicking on the first photo to enlarge the picture, make sure to press the left and right arrow buttons to scroll through the rest of the pictures. There are 73 pictures in total.

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Tags : Big East ConferenceBig Ten ConferenceConnecticut HuskiesIllinois Fighting IlliniNCAA Tournament

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