Game Notes| Live Stream| Tournament Central
HARTFORD, Conn. - The sixth-seeded UConn men's basketball team (20-13) is set to compete for the American Athletic Title on Sunday (3:15 p.m. ET) against top-seeded SMU (26-6) at the XL Center. The game can be seen on ESPN, and it will also be broadcasted live by the UConn IMG Radio Network. Connecticut enters the championship with a mark of 5-2 in neutral games, and the Huskies have won nine of their 10 games played at the XL Center this season.
A win against the Mustangs would give UConn its first-ever American Athletic Championship and secure a spot in the 2015 NCAA Tournament. Connecticut totaled seven conference championships while in the Big East, and the Huskies sport an all-time record of 7-4 when competing for the league title.
UConn rallied past Tulsa, 47-42, in the semifinals on Saturday, finishing the game on a 14-1 run over the final 3 ½ minutes. Guards Ryan Boatright (Aurora, Ill.) and Rodney Purvis (Raleigh, N.C.) both finished in double-figures for a Connecticut team that shot 43.8 percent from behind the arc. Boatright, who has averaged 17.0 points per game in the American Tournament, connected on five 3-pointers against the Golden Hurricane.
Tulsa held a 40-28 rebound advantage in the contest, but the Huskies made the most of the Golden Hurricane's seven turnovers. UConn finished with 17 points off of turnovers and held Tulsa to just 29.6 percent shooting, the worst for a Connecticut opponent this season. The Golden Hurricane's 42 points were also a season-low for a Husky opponent, and Tulsa connected on just three of its 18 3-point attempts.
SMU, the Conference Regular Season Champion, defeated ECU in the quarterfinals (March 13) and Temple in the semifinals (March 14) on its way to the finals. SMU won six of its final seven regular season games, with its only loss coming to UConn on March 1. The Mustangs sport a record of 2-0 in neutral games, and SMU has gone 8-4 on the road this season.
Four SMU players average double-figures on the year, including American Athletic Player of the Year Nic Moore, who leads all Mustangs with 14.3 points per contest. Senior center Yanick Moreira is third in scoring (11.3) and first in rebounds (6.4) for an SMU team that finished league play first in scoring offense (68.9) and third in scoring defense (58.6).
Sunday will be the sixth meeting between the Huskies and Mustangs. SMU owns a 4-1 record against UConn, with its only loss coming at the XL Center earlier this month. The Mustangs are 1-1 overall on the road against the Huskies, and three of the previous five meetings between the two have been decided by double-digits.