Jordan Hawkins scored 24 points for UConn and the Huskies are one step away from the Final Four after an 88-65 victory over Arkansas 88-65 in a West Region Sweet 16 matchup on Thursday.
The fourth-seeded Huskies (28-8) will play the winner of UCLA or Gonzaga in an Elite Eight game on Saturday in Las Vegas. Arkansas’ season ended at 22-14.
UConn played like a team capable of winning its fifth NCAA Tournament title and first since 2014. The Huskies have outscored all three of their March Madness opponents by 62 points.
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They won their first two games beating Iona and Saint Mary’s a combined 86-49 in the second half. UConn emerged early against Arkansas riding a 14-point streak and took a 46-29 lead going into halftime.
The Huskies were never far behind and led by as many as 29 points as they went up 62-33. Arkansas responded with a 10-point run in just 27 seconds, but the result was never in doubt.
UConn, which has won nine of its last 10 games, shot 57.4% compared to 31.7% for Arkansas. The Huskies dominated on the inside outrebounding the Razorbacks 43-31 and outscoring them 42-24 in the lane.
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Adama Sanogo scored 18 points, Alex Karaban had 11 and Nahiem Alleyene 10 for UConn. Sanogo, who also grabbed eight rebounds, has scored 71 points in 75 minutes this tournament.
Anthony Black led Arkansas with 20 points, Ricky Council IV had 17 and Nick Smith Jr. 11.
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Arkansas, which was seeded eighth, was in the Sweet 16 for the third straight year. The Razorbacks have also made the Elite Eight in the past two years, and a third straight appearance would have been the first in program history.