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  • Brandon Harley

UConn returns to the Final Four with an 80-73 win over USC.

Paige Bueckers carried UConn to the national semifinals, scoring 28 points in the Huskies' 80-73 victory over Southern California in a regional final on Monday night.

Third-seeded UConn (33-5) advanced to its 23rd national semifinal, the most of any school, after Bueckers outdueled superb USC freshman All-American JuJu Watkins in the final five minutes. Taking a 65-64 lead, the Huskies scored 11 straight points, including seven from Bueckers and a three-point play from Aaliyah Edwards. This helped finally defeat the top-seeded Trojans.

In Auriemma's 39-year career, this will be one of the most unlikely Final Four trips. Despite injuries that left them with only eight healthy players - including two starters - the Huskies won the Portland 3 Region despite minutes, fouls, and exhaustion. This was a year after 14 straight Final Four appearances were snapped.

When asked about this Coach Geno Auriemma said “I think our coaching staff had to deal with an enormous amount of things this year that we never had to deal with before. I’m really proud of our staff,” Auriemma said.

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