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CONNECTICUT HUSKIES 31-6 NO. 2 SEED, PHOENIX REGIONAL*

At A Glance

March 30, 2004|Lonnie White

* How they got there: Defeated Vermont, 70-53, and DePaul, 72-55, in the first two rounds of the Phoenix Regional at Buffalo, N.Y.; defeated Vanderbilt, 73-53, in the regional semifinal and Alabama, 87-71, in the regional final at Phoenix.

* Leading tournament scorers: Ben Gordon, 22.0 points per game; Rashad Anderson, 18.0; Taliek Brown, 10.0; Emeka Okafor, 9.8.

* Leading tournament rebounders: Okafor, 11.5; Brown, 5.5; Gordon 5.3; Josh Boone, 4.8; Anderson, 4.5; Charlie Villanueva 4.3.

* Key to the season: In early February, the Huskies lost back-to-back road games at Notre Dame and Pittsburgh and fell to 19-5 overall and 7-3 in the Big East Conference. Since then, Connecticut is 12-1, including a seven-game winning streak heading into the Final Four. Coach Jim Calhoun has done a good job working around the health issues of Okafor, who sat out three games during the season because of a back injury and sat out most of the second half against Alabama on Saturday because of a shoulder injury.

* Key facts: Okafor, who is averaging 2.3 blocked shots per game in the tournament, is the key to the Huskies' success. He's averaging double figures in points and rebounds and shooting 60.3% from the field. Gordon, who scored 36 points against Alabama, has also been a force, scoring at least 20 points in five of his last seven games.

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*--* Opponent Result Yale W 70-60 Nevada W 93-79 Sacred Heart W 111-64 Georgia Tech L 77-61 Utah W 76-44 Lehigh W 75-55 Army W 74-46 Quinnipiac W 88-55 Iona W 104-54 Ball State W 101-62 Massachusetts W 91-67 at Rice W 92-83 at Rutgers W 75-74 Oklahoma W 86-59 Georgetown W 94-70 at North Carolina L 86-83 Pittsburgh W 68-65 Providence L 66-56 at Virginia Tech W 96-60 at Boston College W 63-58 Syracuse W 84-56 West Virginia W 88-58 at Notre Dame L 80-74 at Pittsburgh L 75-68 Miami W 76-63 Notre Dame W 61-50 at St. John's W 71-53 at Villanova W 75-74 Seton Hall W 89-67 at Syracuse L 67-56 Notre Dame-x W 66-58 Villanova-x W 84-67 Pittsburgh-x W 61-58 Vermont* W 70-53 DePaul* W 72-55 Vanderbilt* W 73-53 Alabama* W 87-71 * NCAA tournament x-Big East tournament

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