March Madness 2024: UConn women, men both advance to Final Four for fifth time in school history


If you didn’t know, you know now: Storrs, Connecticut. is where college basketball dynasties are made. Facing No. 1-seeded USC and superstar freshman JuJu Watkins, Paige Bueckers and the injury-depleted UConn women prevailed, 80-73, in the Elite Eight to reach their 23rd Final Four. 

Monday’s result meant both the UConn men’s and women’s teams will be heading to the Final Four. The Huskies men’s team, the top overall seed, punched its Final Four ticket with a 25-point victory over No. 3 seed Illinois, prompting CBS Sports’ Matt Norlander to explain just how generationally dominant Dan Hurley’s program is

Generationally dominant seems like an understatement for what coach Geno Auriemma has done with the UConn’s women’s team. He’s led UConn to 15 of the last 16 Final Fours, and this run has been particularly impressive considering the team has endured six season-ending injuries. Because of the team’s health situation, Bueckers, Aaliyah Edwards and Nika Muhl all played the entire game against USC. 

If a school’s men’s and women’s teams both reaching the Final Four sounds familiar, it’s because NC State became the 11th team to accomplish the feat just before UConn followed suit. The No. 3 seed Wolfpack’s women’s squad topped No. 1 seed Texas in the Elite Eight behind a breakout performance from Aziaha James, while the 11th-seeded men’s team collected a double-digit win over in-state rival No. 4 seed Duke. 

NC State doesn’t have quite as storied a basketball tradition as UConn, as the women’s team hasn’t made the Final Four since 1998, and the men last made an appearance when they won the national title in 1983. 

The NC State and UConn women will take on No. 1 seeds South Carolina and Iowa, respectively, in their Final Four matchups on Friday. A day after, the NC State men will battle Purdue while Hurley’s team will play Alabama. 

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