What we learned: UConn looks dominant, Alabama makes school history

Mar 31, 2024, 12:00 AM ET One half of the Final 4 is set.Alabama rallied from an early 13-point deficit to beat Clemson. The Crimson Tide are going to their very first Final Four in program history.Nate Oats ‘group will play general No. 1 seed UConn in

one national semifinal. The Huskies advanced quickly against Illinois to reach their 2nd consecutive Final Four as they attempt to safeguard their 2023 title.As for the 2nd half of the field, Sunday will tip off with the Midwest

Regional last in between front runner Purdue and No. 2 seed Tennessee. The Elite Eight will conclude with an ACC taste in the South. Duke will attempt to advance to its 18th Final 4 against surprising No. 11 seed NC State.Here’s what we learned from Saturday’s games. And this is how we reseeded the Elite Eight. play 0:32 Donovan Clingan’s impressive sequence has Expense Murray hyped Bill Murray commemorates after UConn’s Donovan Clingan turns down Quincy Guerrier with a thunderous block and follows it up with a posterizing dunk on the other end.

Can anybody score at the rim on Donovan Clingan and UConn? Clingan’s performance– especially defensively– on Saturday was otherworldly, among the most dominant showings we’ve seen all season. It ended up being apparent very rapidly that Illinois was going to struggle scoring in the paint. The Illini missed 8 of their first 10 layups, with Clingan blocking three shots in the first half and modifying numerous others. Illinois shot just 25% inside the arc. In Clingan’s first 17 minutes on the flooring, Illinois scored 4 points. Possibly the Illini needs to have decided to shoot more jumpers instead of driving at Clingan so frequently, but Terrence Shannon Jr. really struggled to make shots, and Coleman Hawkins couldn’t start from the border. Here’s the stat of the night: Illinois went 0-for-19 on field goal attempts objected to by Clingan, according to ESPN Statistics & Info research.Editor’s Picks 2 Related What the win methods for UConn: It’s going to take a very remarkable efficiency to make UConn sweat in a game, let alone beat the Huskies. Illinois played as well as it might defensively for the first half and still lost by 25. UConn is simply playing with so much self-confidence at this point, it’s challenging to come up with a way for the Huskies to lose. The indications were there at an early stage Saturday: UConn missed its first 10 3s and only shot 3-for-17 from behind the arc, Tristen Newton didn’t make a basket, Stephon Castle scored simply two points, Illinois coped the Huskies on the glass– and again, UConn still won by 25. What the loss means for Illinois: Illinois merely encountered a buzz saw in the 2nd half against UConn, however the Illini potentially established how they want to look moving forward under Brad Underwood. They made a tweak midway through the season, becoming more of a five-out group with spacing and shooting. It turned Illinois into the country’s second-best offense going into Saturday’s game. Although Shannon, Marcus Domask and Quincy Guerrier are out of eligibility and Hawkins stated after the loss that his Illinois career is likely over, it offers Underwood a plan for how he wishes to assault the portal and the recruiting trail to construct his roster moving on.– Jeff Borzello

play 0:22 Alabama reaches first Last Four in program history The Alabama Crimson Tide advance to their first Last 4 after defeating Clemson 89-82.

2024 Male’s College Basketball Championship Odds

Can Alabama beat UConn? After the Tide removed both North Carolina and Clemson in Los Angeles, all eyes turn to what they can do to stop the tournament’s relatively unstoppable force. The Huskies trounced Illinois on Saturday with a 30-0 run, more cementing their status as the favorites to win everything for the second year in a row. How will Alabama keep up? If the Tide have actually revealed us anything, it’s that they can fume from beyond the arc and beat anybody with their shooting. Mark Sears will once again be crucial for Nate Oats’ team as it tries to craft an upset bid, however it will likely depend on the defense– which suppressed Clemson in the 2nd half– to be able to hang with another elite offense in UConn. The odds are not in the Tide’s favor, but so far that hasn’t stopped them.What the win ways for Alabama: Everybody understands Alabama is and will always be a football school, but the program’s very first journey to the Final 4 will be one to keep in mind for a very long time. What Oats has been building in Tuscaloosa has finally come to fruition. His 8th competition win in 4 years is more tournament wins than Alabama has had over the past 26 years. And although last season featured a 31-win team that stopped short of an Elite 8, the lessons and experience gained in 2023 appear to be settling now.What the loss means for Clemson: Just over two months ago, the Tigers had lost 3 games in a row in conference play, finishing a stretch where they lost seven of 12. Any thoughts of making a deep tournament run appeared far from realistic. And yet Brad Brownell’s group was able to do simply that, beating both No. 3 seed Baylor and No. 2 seed Arizona while doing so. The season stopped short of program history, however it was still the first time Clemson made the Elite 8 considering that 1980. That’s no small accomplishment.– Paolo Uggetti

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