LAS VEGAS — Jordan Hawkins scored 20 points and UConn blew past its fourth straight NCAA Tournament opponent, earning its first trip to the Final Four in nine years with an 82-54 blowout of Gonzaga on Saturday night.
The Huskies (29-8) have felt right at home in their first extended March Madness run since winning the 2014 national championship, playing their best basketball of what had been an up-and-down season.
UConn controlled the usually efficient Bulldogs at both ends in the West Region final, building a 23-point lead early in the second half to waltz right into the final section of the bracket.
The Huskies’ two NCAA Tournament first-round exits under coach Dan Hurley are now well in the rearview mirror.
These elite Huskies did what the UConn women couldn’t for once and are headed to Houston, where they will play either Texas or Miami.
The Bulldogs (31-6) didn’t have the same second-half magic they had in a last-second win over UCLA in the Elite Eight.
Gonzaga allowed UConn to go on a late run to lead by seven at halftime and fell completely apart after All-American Drew Timme went to the bench with his fourth foul early in the second half.
The Zags shot 33% from the field — 7 of 29 in the second half — and went 2 for 20 from 3 to stumble in their bid for a third Final Four since 2017.
Timme had 12 points and 10 rebounds, receiving a warm ovation after being taken out of his final collegiate game with 1:50 left.