March 23, 2011
ANAHEIM, Calif. - The UConn men's basketball players and coaches took part in the Sweet 16 news conferences held today at the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif. No. 3 UConn will face No. 2 San Diego State in the Sweet 16 at 7:15 p.m. Eastern time on Thursday, March 24. The game will be televised on CBS.
UConn comes into the first game of the West Regional Finals on a seven-game winning streak, beginning with its unprecedented run to a BIG EAST Championship on March 12. Connecticut won five games in five days at Madison Square Garden for the BIG EAST Title.
The Huskies (28-9) have since defeated No. 11 Bucknell, 81-52, and No. 6 Cincinnati, 69-58, to advance into the round of 16 for the 16th time in UConn history and 13th time under Head Coach Jim Calhoun.
San Diego State (34-2) won the Mountain West Championship and has since defeated No. 15 Northern Colorado, 68-50, and No. 7 Temple, 71-64, in double overtime.
UConn will enter Thursday's game with a 46-27 overall record in 30 NCAA Tournament appearances while the Aztecs have enjoyed the first two NCAA Tournament victories in program history this season.
Both teams will enter the game boasting an All-American in the starting five. UConn will bring junior guard and Sporting News First Team All-American Kemba Walker to the court while SDSU will counter with Sporting News Second Team All-American forward Kawhi Leonard.
Leonard comes into the West Regional Finals averaging 15.6 points and 10.6 rebounds. Leonard has recorded 23 double-doubles this season. That total ranks fourth in the nation.
Walker has been sensational all season for the Huskies. The Bronx native is one of only two players in the NCAA this year to average 20 points, five rebounds and four assists. On the year, he's averaging 23.6 points, 5.4 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 1.9 steals.
The winner of Thursday's game will face either No. 1 Duke or No. 5 Arizona.